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Isabelle Huppert to Play Drug Dealer in ‘La Daronne’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Isabelle Huppert is set to star as a drug dealer in Jean-Paul Salome’s “La Daronne,” a crime comedy based on Hannelore Cayre’s popular novel.

The film is being produced by Kristina Larsen at Les Films du Lendemain and Jean-Baptiste Dupont at La Boetie Films. Orange Studio has just come on board to handle international sales. Le Pacte will distribute in France. “La Daronne” has also been pre-bought by Canal Plus and OCS.

Shooting in set to begin next week in Paris. Budgeted at €5.8 million ($6.6 million), “La Daronne” stars Huppert as Patience Portefeux, a French-Arabic translator working for the anti-drug squad in Paris. One day she sets off to help out a woman’s troubled son as a favor and gets embroiled in a failed drug deal, inheriting a pile of cannabis. While keeping her job with the anti-drug squad, Patience crosses to the other side and becomes a well-known drug dealer.

Salome (“Arsene Lupin”) wrote the script with the novel’s author, Cayre, who is a well-established crime justice lawyer, and in collaboration with his son, Antoine Salome. “Because the novel was written by a criminal justice lawyer who knows precisely Paris’ drug underworld, ‘La Daronne’ is very realistic, yet funny,” Jean-Paul Salome said, adding that Huppert “is completely dedicated to the film and has been learning Arabic for the role.”

Salome presided over the French promotion organization UniFrance for nearly five years, until 2017.

The film’s key crew includes the cinematographer Julien Hirsch (“Eva,” “Lady Chatterley”), score composer Bruno Coulais (“The Artist”) and costume designer Marité Coutard (“Mon Roi”).

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