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Mandarin, FD design rival ‘YSL’ pic

Partners set June shoot date for Bonello pic

PARIS

One day after SND announced it had boarded “Yves Saint Laurent,” producer Mandarin Cinema and sales agent Films Distribution have set a June shoot date for Bertrand Bonello’s rival “Yves Saint Laurent.”

Bonello and Thomas Bidegain, co-scribe of “The Prophet” and “Rust and Bone,” have delivered a screenplay.

Films Distribution has begun making the script available for select French-speaking international distributors at the Unifrance Paris Rendez-vous, which kicked off Tuesday. Others will receive its English-language version before the Berlin Film Festival.

Mandarin topper Eric Altmayer said Tuesday he is completing the cast and has “various choices for French distribution.” He will announce the Gallic distributor at Berlin, he added.

Gaspar Ulliel will play Bonello’s Yves Saint Laurent. Like SND’s project, it carries the blessing of PPR, owner of the Yves Saint Laurent brand, said FD’s Francois Yon.

Costume design and location scouting are under way. Bonello’s film will be delivered February 2014, added FD partner Nicolas Brigaud-Robert.

Confirmation of Bonello’s production schedule comes just one day after SND announced that it will handle worldwide sales and French distribution on “Yves Saint Laurent,” directed by Jalil Lespert, and co-produced by WY Prods. Pierre Niney will play Saint Laurent. Lespert is skedded to shoot late spring/early summer.

Budgeted at €15 million ($20 million), Bonello’s “Yves Saint Laurent” looks very different to Lespert’s.

Set over 1965-1976, climaxing with YSL’s Russian Collection, Bonello’s portrait is “about the peak years of a genius, how difficult it is to remain at the top, even when you’re rich and famous,” said Brigaud-Robert.

“Yves Saint Laurent was happy for fleeting moments twice a year just after his runway shows,” he added.

“Then he has to come up with another collection and had a partner in business and life building an empire around him, so he has to deliver,” Yon added.

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