La Petite Reine snaps into action

'Maniac,' 'Colt,' 'Police' on Langmann's docket

A redo of the 1980 cult serial-killer pic “Maniac,” produced and co-written by Alexandre Aja, is among the high-profile projects in the works at Thomas Langmann’s fast-expanding La Petite Reine.

Also on tap are actioner “Colt 45” from Fabrice du Welz and “Police Francaise” from Abdellatif Kechiche.

The Paris producer’s 2011 slate is falling into place as Langmann is discussing a film-by-film pact for Wild Bunch to acquire international rights on Petite Reine projects.

“Piranha 3D” and “High Tension” helmer Aja is planning an English-language redo of William Lustig’s brutal “Maniac.”

Gregory Levasseur, Aja’s creative partner, will direct. Aja will serve as producer and co-writer and be on set every day, Langmann said. Budgeted at $10 million-$12 million and currently casting, the modern-day reboot is scheduled to shoot in late August in New York and Canada.

“This will be a very scary movie and a tribute to Lustig,” Langmann said.

Langmann, director-producer Claude Berri’s son, broke through with two 2008 Gallic tentpoles: live-action “Asterix at the Olympic Games” and Jean-Francois Richet’s two-part gangster thriller “Mesrine.”

Though more modestly budgeted than “Mesrine,” two of Langmann’s three new pics likewise deliver modern riffs on France’s long tradition of noirish movies.

After “Calvaire” and “Vinyan,” Belgian writer-director du Welz will helm “Colt 45” (aka “Miles”), about a weapons-expert cop who discovers his killer instinct.

“It will be a very strong film noir action movie set in central Paris and also a deep character study,” du Welz promised.

Currently casting, the €10 million ($13.4 million) pic rolls in late fall, said Julien Arnoux, “Colt 45” exec producer for La Petite Reine. Pic will shoot in France and other countries. Du Welz has adapted a Fathi Beddiar screenplay.

Kechiche is writing “Police francaise,” adapting book “Omerta dans la police,” ex-policewoman Sihem Souid’s denunciation of corruption, abuse of power, sexism and racism on France’s police force. Kechiche also directs.

“Police” is envisaged, rather like Olivier Assayas’ “Carlos,” as a miniseries on Canal Plus and one film for theatrical distribution, Langmann said.

For Berlin, Wild Bunch acquired international rights to Christophe Barratier’s “The War of the Buttons,” which rolls in June, and on Petite Reine-produced, $18.4 million “The Artist,” with Jean Dujardin and John Goodman.