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Schoenaerts to topline ‘Faithful,’ ‘Ardennes’

Bart Van Langendonck to produce both pics

LES ARCS, France

“Rust and Bone” star Matthias Schoenaerts, who gave a breakthrough perf in Michael R. Roskam’s “Bullhead,” is set to topline the helmer’s “The Faithful” and Robin Pront’s feature debut “The Ardennes.”

Both pics are produced by Bart Van Langendonck at Brussels-based Savage Film, the outfit behind “Bullhead.”

“The Faithful” is a film noir about a crime gang in Brussels. Stone Angels, launched a year ago by Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, will co-produce and distribute in France. Le Pogam has links with Hollywood thanks to his time with EuropaCorp, which he co-founded with Luc Besson.

“I’ve been wanting to work with Michael since I met him and watched ‘Bullhead,’ ” said Le Pogam, who is on the shoot of Nicole Kidman starrer “Grace of Monaco,” which he’s producing.

Van Langendonck told Variety that Roskam is writing the script with a high-profile scribe — whose identity has yet to be revealed — and expects to start shooting in spring 2014. He has become a partner in Savage Film.

“The Ardennes” is a road movie written by “Bullhead” supporting thesp Jeroen Perceval centering on three young Belgian losers who go to the Ardennes forest, near the Gallic border, to get rid of a corpse. “It’s a page-turner,” said Langendonck, who described the project as ” ‘Trainspotting’ meets ‘Fargo.'”

Pic has received coin from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund.

Schoenaerts, who will next be seen in Guillaume Canet’s “Blood Ties,” has joined the talent pool of Savage Film and will make his directorial debut with “Franky,” a documentary about a friend whose leg was amputated. Van Langendonck was at France’s Les Arcs film fest on Monday to participate in a panel along with Celluloid Dreams topper Hengameh Panahi to discuss what it took to finance, produce and find international distribution for “Bullhead,” which has now sold to more than 20 territories.

Named one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch last year, Roskam, who is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content and Alan Wertheimer, has a string of high-profile projects set up in Hollywood.

He will make his English-language helming debut with Focus Features’ “The Tiger” and is also writing the pilot script of HBO’s “Buda Bridge,” with Michael Mann producing.

(John Hopewell contributed to this report.)

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