CANNES– French major Gaumont is reteaming with Quad (“Intouchables,” “Ballerina”) on “A Bag of Marbles,” a big screen adaptation of Joseph Joffo’s “A Bag of Marbles,” a classic novel set in the backdrop of the second World War.
Based on Joffo’s own story,”A Bag of Marbles” is a colorful adventure tale chronicling the frenzied journey of two young Jewish brothers in German-occupied France who escape a roundup in Paris and embark on a trip across France to reunite with their family. Proving to be mischievous and brave, the two brothers manage to fend for themselves while escaping Nazi barbarism thanks to mind-boggling tricks.
Script is penned by Duguay and Benoit Guichard. Quad’s Laurent Zeitoun, Nicolas Duval and Yann Zeitoun are lead-producing. Gaumont is co-producing, handling international sales and will distribute the 23 million Euros movie in France.
Positioning “A Bag of Marbles” as a family-skewing movie, Gaumont and Quad tapped Christian Duguay to direct. The helmer has a track record with period adventure movies for wide audiences, having previously directed Guillaume Canet starrer “Jappeloup” and WWII-set pic “Belle et Sébastien.”Both were high-grossing pics which traveled worldwide.
Cast is led by two newcomers Dorian Le Clech and Batyste Fleurial, and anchored by some of the country’s best-known actors: Christian Clavier (“Serial (Bad) Weddings”), Patrick Bruel (“What’s in a Name”), Elsa Zylberstein (“Un Plus Une”) and popular comedian Kev Adams (“Serial Teachers”).
The long-gestated project has strong potential in France, where the book has been part of the school curricula, and around the world as it’s aimed at mainstream audiences and is based on a bestseller, as well as a true story. “A Bag of Marble”is also one of the rare movies depicting the French Occupation from the perspective of children.
TF1 Productions and Forecast Pictures are co-producing the pic which is now shooting.