×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ewan McGregor to Star in Marc Forster’s Remake of French Classic ‘The Cow and I’ (EXCLUSIVE)

WestEnd Films boards project and will introduce it to buyers in Cannes

Ewan McGregor will play a World War II prisoner of war who hatches a plan to use a cow to help him escape captivity and find his way across Germany to freedom. Marc Forster will direct “The Cow,” which is a remake of classic French comedy “The Cow and I,” with shooting set to begin in the fall.

WestEnd Films has boarded the picture and will introduce it to international buyers in Cannes. North American sales are being handled by Linda Lichter.

The original version, known in French as “La Vache et le Prisonnier,” was based on a novel by Jacques Antoine and directed by Henri Verneuil. Starring Fernandel, the film was a big hit locally in the late 1950s.

The English-language remake reunites McGregor with Forster after their recent collaboration on the upcoming Disney picture “Christopher Robin,” which will be released in the summer. The pair also worked together on 2005 movie “Stay.”

Forster optioned the remake rights to the movie more than a decade ago. He showed the script to McGregor towards the end of the “Christopher Robin” shoot and won the actor over. Forster told Variety that the film would give the “Trainspotting” star an opportunity to show his range: “Ewan is very well known as a dramatic actor and [has] always been great at that, but he is also very good as a physical comedic actor and he will also bring that.”

The script for “The Cow” comes from Bill Prady, the co-creator of hit U.S. TV comedy “The Big Bang Theory.”

McGregor will play Charlie Granger, a U.S. pilot who has joined Britain’s Royal Air Force and is flying bombing missions until he is shot down over Germany. His escape plan involves using a fake pass and a cow, Marguerite, to slip out of the farm. Along with his bovine companion, he makes off in the direction of France, some 200 miles away.

The odd couple’s epic journey finds them negotiating obstacles including inhospitable terrain, German soldiers and an amorous bull. Through their adventures together, Marguerite becomes Granger’s rescuer, confidante and companion. He ultimately has to choose either a path to freedom that will consign Marguerite to certain death, or a course of action that will save the animal that saved him.

“It’s a road movie in a sense and will have that pacing, and at the same time it is by nature comedic,” Forster said. “The backdrop is the reality of a war, and they come across moments and circumstances that remind you of that. But their relationship is very humorous, intimate and emotional.”

The movie is being produced by Lichther, Forster, Eric Kopeloff (“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”), Renee Wolfe (“Christopher Robin”) and Ludi Boeken (“Jappeloup”). McGregor is repped by UTA and attorney Robert Offer.

POPULAR ON VARIETY: 

More Film

  • Krysanne Katsoolis Sets Up Viewpark With

    Krysanne Katsoolis Sets Up Viewpark With $200 Million Fund

    Veteran film industry executive Krysanne Katsoolis has launched Viewpark, which will finance, package and release high-end film and TV content. Viewpark has partnered with former Wall Street executive Keith Price’s Obsidian Asset Management to create a multi-million dollar fund for the production and marketing of its slate, Katsoolis told Variety. Obsidian, based in London and [...]

  • Elle FanningChopard Trophee dinner, 72nd Cannes

    Elle Fanning Faints at Cannes Dinner Party

    Elle Fanning, a member of this year’s Cannes jury, had a brief scare Monday night when she fainted at the Chopard Trophee dinner. Festival director Thierry Fremaux had just introduced actor Francois Civil onstage when Fanning, star of “The Beguiled” and “Maleficent,” collapsed and fell off her chair nearby. Fanning was sitting at a table [...]

  • 'Frankie' Review: Ira Sachs' American Version

    Cannes Film Review: 'Frankie'

    As a filmmaker, Ira Sachs, the director of “Love Is Strange,” “Little Men,” and (his masterpiece) “Keep the Lights On,” is like a flower that keeps sprouting new tendrils, growing ever more beautiful and complicated and delicate. His new movie, “Frankie,” may the closest that anyone has come to making an American version of an [...]

  • AMC theater

    AMC Stubs A-List Becomes No. 1 Movie Subscription Service

    AMC Theatres’ Stubs A-List program, which allows customers to see three movies a week for $19.95 a month, has hit 800,000 subscribers. That figure is well ahead of the original projection, announced last June, for 500,000 subscribers by the end of its first year. According to AMC, the program is now the No. 1 moviegoing [...]

  • Millie Bobby Brown on Her Feature

    Millie Bobby Brown Calls Her Film Debut in 'Godzilla' 'Kind of Unreal'

    Millie Bobby Brown is no stranger to stardom thanks to “Stranger Things,” but she still can’t believe she’s making her feature film debut in the monster reboot “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” “It’s kind of unreal,” Brown told Variety at the premiere. “I’m like, ‘What is happening right now?’ It’s so bizarre and unreal, and [...]

  • Dakota Johnson Tracee Ellis Ross

    Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross Co-Starring in Comedy 'Covers'

    Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross will co-star in “Covers,” a comedy set in the music scene in Hollywood. “Late Night” director Nisha Ganatra is helming from a screenplay by Flora Greeson. Focus Features is partnering with Working Title Films on the movie. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce with Alexandra Loewy [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content