Cop thriller arrests director

Cavaye will helm untitled follow-up to 'Point Blank'

Rolling off Gilles Lellouche starrer “Point Blank,” a critical and commercial hit, French helmer Fred Cavaye is prepping his next feature, an untitled thriller toplining Vincent Lindon and Daniel Auteuil.

Set in the South of France, the film will star Lindon as a guilt-riddled former cop, who quit his job and abandoned his family after accidentally killing a woman and her child. Seven years later, as his own son’s life is endangered by a gang, Lindon’s character resurfaces and enlists the help of a friend (Auteuil), a rogue cop, to protect his son.

“It’s a modern-day Western,” Cavaye tells Variety, citing “High Noon” and “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” as references.

Cavaye said the film will feature more action and a greater emotional depth than his previous two outings.

Budget is estimated at €15 million to €18 million ($19 million to $23 million).

Cavaye is reteaming with his producers Jean Baptiste Dupont and Cyril Colbeau-Justin at Paris-based LGM. Gaumont is co-producing, distributing and reps in international markets.

“After ‘Point Blank’ we’re very excited to continue following the fast and furious adventures of Cavaye,” said Cecile Gaget, Gaumont’s head of international sales. “Cavaye is definitely on buyers’ radars.”

Cavaye, who’s only directed two features, has a stellar track record and is considered part of France’s new generation of filmmakers — along with Pascal Chaumeil, Pierre Morel and Guillaume Canet — who can make high-concept pics that tap into European and American sensibilities.

Cavaye’s directorial debut, the Diane Kruger starrer “Anything for Elle,” yielded a U.S. remake, “The Next Three Days,” directed by Paul Haggis with Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde.

His soph pic, the thriller “Point Blank,” which turns on a male nurse (Lellouche) who must team with a French gangster (Roschdy Zem) to save his kidnapped pregnant wife, pre-sold to many territories and is expected to be picked up soon for U.S. and South Korean remakes.

Magnolia released the original in the U.S. in 2011.