‘Puzzle’ pieces fit

Pic is third following Xavier from 'Dolls,' 'L'Auberge'

EXCLUSIVE– Gallic helmer Cedric Klapisch has cast Romain Duris, Cecile de France, Audrey Tautou and Kevin Bishop in dramedy “Casse tete Chinois” (Chinese Puzzle), the sequel to his hit pics “Russian Dolls” and “L’Auberge Espagnole.”

The higher-bracket pic is produced by Bruno Levy at Klepisch’s Ce Qui Me Meut shingle.

“Chinese Puzzle” (working title) finds Xavier, the central character of “Dolls” and “L’Auberge,” as a family man experiencing a mid-life crisis on the eve of his 40th birthday.

Levy said Klapisch is writing the script and is in advanced negotiations with StudioCanal to take international sales rights and distribute the pic in France.

Lensing will begin in 2012 in New York, China and Paris.

The Paris-based company is also developing Eric Lartigau’s follow-up to “The Big Picture,” an untitled contemporary comedy co-penned by Lartigau and Bertrand Blier.

The comedy will shoot in the south of France and center on two men and a woman.

Ce Qui Me Meut is also developing Pierre Perrault and Anne Le Ny’s “Cornouaille,” a dramedy toplining French thesp Vanessa Paradis. Paradis plays a 35-year-old career-oriented woman living in Paris who travels to Brittany to see her family, with whom she has always had a strained relationship.

Filming will kick off on June 3 in Brittany. Pic has been picked up by TF1 Intl. for international sales. UGC will handle the Gallic release next February or March.

Levy said the outfit is also developing Katell Quillevere’s drama “Suzanne,” her followup to her debut, “Love Like Poison.”

Quillevere is writing the script with “Love Like Poison” co-scribe Mariette Desert.

“Suzanne” turns on the downfall of a woman who falls passionately in love with a delinquent. Pic will start shooting in spring.