Marion Cotillard to topline ‘Rust and Bone’

'A Prophet' helmer Jacques Audiard's pic budgeted at $22 million

Marion Cotillard (“The Dark Night Rises,” “Inception”) is set to star in Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone,” the Gallic helmer’s followup to “A Prophet,” which took 2009’s Cannes fest by storm.

Budgeted at $22 million, which rates it as one of the biggest films coming out of France this year, “Rust and Bone” is based on Craig Davidson’s short-story collection of the same title.

Thomas Bidegain, Audiard’s co-scribe on “A Prophet,” has reteamed with Audiard on the screenplay for “Rust,” described as a mix of suspense and love.

Belgium’s Matthias Schoenarts (“Bullhead”), Celine Sallette (“House of Tolerance”) and Bouli Lanners (“Nothing to Declare”) co-star.

Hengameh Panahi’s Celluloid Dreams, which sold and co-produced “A Prophet,” will handle international sales on “Rust and Bone.”

Pic is produced by Pascal Caucheteux at French production house Why Not Prods., whose credits include Audiard’s “The Beat That My Heart Skipped” and “A Prophet,” as well as “Of Gods and Men” and “Assault on Precinct 13.”

Page 114, Audiard’s label, also produces; Belgium’s Les Films du Fleuve co-produces.

UGC will distribute in France. In pre-sales, “Rust” has been licensed to Studiocanal for the U.K,, Bim Distribuzione for Italy and Lumiere for the Benelux territories.

“There are simply no words for me to express my joy at being on board Jacques’ next film as he is one of the most talented and inspiring directors today,” said Panahi, who will introduce Audiard’s new film to buyers at the Toronto Film Festival.

“Rust and Bone” will shoot this fall for 14 weeks in the south of France and Belgium.

Cotillard won an Academy Award for actress for her perf in “La vie en rose.”

“A Prophet” took the Cannes Festival’s Special Jury Prize in 2009.