Haitian vet helmer Raoul Peck is on board to direct “The Young Karl Marx,” a period drama chronicling the turbulent youth and friendship between Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
The ambitious project has lured two German stars: August Diehl (“Night Train to Lisbon,” pictured above) for the role of Marx, and Alexander Fehling (“Inglorious Basterds”) for the role of Engels.
Pic is being produced by Agat Films and Velvet Film in France, Rohfilm in Germany and Artemis Prods. in Belgium.
Films Distribution, Nicolas Brigaud-Robert and Francois Yon’s Paris-based arthouse company, has acquired international sales to the film.
Written by Peck and Pascal Bonitzer, “The Young Karl Marx” opens with 26-year old Marx who goes with his wife, Jenny, into exile, and depicts Marx’ encounter with Engels, the son of a textile factory owner, in 1844 Paris.
Set against the backdrop of the 1848 rebellions, which culmintaed in police raids and riots, the movie charts Marx and Engels’ journey to complete Communist Manifesto, which gave birth of the labor rights movement.
“Avoiding the habitual caricature of the old bearded revolutionary icon, this film is the coming of age of two young and daring intellectuals who will have an extraordinary impact on the world of the 20th century and beyond,” said Peck, whose latest “Murder in Pacot” will be playing in the Berlinale Panorama Special on Feb. 10.
“The Young Karl Marx” is backed by pay TV Canal Plus, pubcaster France Televisions (France 3 Cinema), as well as Germany’s Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) and Mitteldeutsche Medienforderung (MDM). Diaphana and Neue Visionen will release the movie is France and Germany, respectively.
Lensing is scheduled to begin in July.