MARRAKECH — Benoit Jacquot, the acclaimed French director of “Farewell, My Queen” and “Three Hearts,” has lined up a stellar cast including Gerard Depardieu, Vincent Lindon and Sandrine Kiberlain for his next movie, a mystery drama titled “Bain de minuit.”
Jacquot, whose career spans 40 years, unveiled details on his next project while in Marrakech to participate in a master class and present his latest film, “Three Hearts,” at the film festival.
Gilles Taurand, a vet scribe whose credits include Jacquot’s “Farewell, My Queen,” “La belle personne” and “Wild Reeds,” is writing the script of “Bain,” which is an adaptation of George Harrar’s “Reunion at Red Paint Bay.”
Set in Red Paint, a small town in Maine, the book centers around a sturdy family man working as newspaper editor. His picture-perfect life starts to unravel after he starts receiving postcards from a mysterious stalker who is threaten him and his family and revealing dark secrets from his past.
The book came out last year and has been selling widely.
The movie will mark Jacquot and Depardieu’s first collaboration.
“Gerard and I are from the same generation and we’ve been friends forever,” said Jacquot. “We almost made a film together once; it was set against the backdrop of the Algerian war for independence, and the project got derailed for political reasons. We’ve always wanted to work together.”
Kiberlain and Lindon, two of France’s best-known actors, last teamed for Stephane Brize’s “Mademoiselle Chambon,” an arthouse hit that sold worldwide. Kiberlain won last year’s Cesar award (France’s equivalent to the Oscar) for her performance in Albert Dupontel’s “9-Month Stretch.”
Michèle Halberstadt et Laurent Pétin are producing the movie via their Paris-based outfit ARP Selection.
Jacquot also confirmed to Variety that he’s taken over “The Body Artist,” Don DeLillo’s bigscreen adaptation set up at Paulo Branco’s Alfama Films. Luca Guadagnino was previously on board to direct it with Isabelle Huppert, Denis Lavant and Sigourney Weaver.
Jacquot said the casting for “The Body Artist” has changed and is under way. “The female lead will be a young performance artist in her 20s and will likely be an unknown actress,” said Jacquot. The male character, however, will be played by a prominent American actor, revealed the director.
The helmer said he wished to make the film, which he described as a ghost story, “as experimental and edgy as possible” and it will be shot on a whim — fast and on a tight budget.
“I wasn’t familiar with DeLillo’s work but when I read this book it enthralled me and I immediately thought it was something I could do, even though it’s very different from what I’ve done before.”
The director is currently editing “Diary of a Chambermaid,” his adaptation of Octave Mirbeau’s classic novel, toplining Lea Seydoux (“Spectre”). Mars Distribution will release the movie in France in March.