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Toronto: Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin Join Claire Denis’ ‘High Life’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Juliette Binoche and André Benjamin have joined the cast of Claire Denis’ “High Life,” Variety has learned.

The film revolves around convicts who reduce their time behind bars in exchange for embarking on a dangerous mission to a black hole. Robert Pattinson and Mia Goth were already announced as star rig in the film. In addition, Variety has learned that the cast has added Lars Eidinger (“Clouds of Sils Maria”), Agata Buzek (“Redemption”), Ewan Mitchell (“The Last Kingdom”), Jessie Ross (“The Frankenstein Chronicles”) and Claire Tran (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”).

The picture is Denis’ English-language feature film debut. A favorite of cinephiles, she is best known for her films “White Material” and “35 Shots of Rum.”

Binoche, an Oscar-winner for “The English Patient” and a nominee for “Chocolat.” Along with Tran, she appeared in Denis’ “Let the Sun Shine,” which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. Benjamin is best known for his music work as part of the hip hop duo Outkast (under his stage name André 3000). He has also appeared in “Four Brothers” and earned acclaim for his portrayal of Jimi Hendrix in “Jimi: All Is by My Side.”

Principal photography will take place in Cologne, Germany. Denis has tapped visual artist Olafur Eliasson to design of the black hole. The original score and sound design comes from her long-time musical collaborator, Stuart Staples. Scientific expertise has been provided by the astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau, as well as the European Space Agency.

Andrew Lauren Productions (ALP) is financing the film and is partnering with Alcatraz Films (Paris), Pandora Film Produktion (Cologne), The Apocalypse Films (London), and Madants (Warsaw) to produce High Life. Andrew Lauren and partner D.J. Gugenheim will produce for ALP, Laurence Clerc & Olivier Thery-Lapiney for Alcatraz, Claudia Steffen & Christoph Friedel for Pandora, and Oliver Dungey for Apocalypse. Klaudia Smieja will co-produce for Madants.

“It is a rare honor to work with Claire Denis,” Lauren said in a statement. “She has put together an incredible cast for what is not only her first English language feature but also her first sci-fi film after making 12 visionary films in French. This is also our first international co-production and we are committed to working with our partners to make Claire’s film a reality.”

Binoche is represented by Intertalent, Untitled Entertainment, CAA and Artmedia. Benjamin is represented by WME. Buzek is represented by Coolkeyplay and European Talent Network. Mitchell is represented by Independent Talent Group. Tran is represented by Independent Talent Group and Agence Adequat.

The film is supported by Film and Medienstiftung NRW, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Filmförderungsanstalt, ZDF/ARTE and DFFF in Germany, Arte France Cinema, CNC and Canal+ in France, the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery, in the United Kingdom and by the Polish Film Institute in Poland. It was developed with the support of Altaris Partners and the British Film Institute in the United Kingdom and with Medien- und Filmstiftung NRW in Germany.

Wild Bunch is handling international sales while CAA will handle the domestic sale.

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