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Record-Breaking Italian Comedy ‘Quo Vado’ Set for French Remake (EXCLUSIVE)

ROME – “Quo Vado,” the Italian comedy about job security that became the country’s all-time highest grosser, is getting a French remake.

French comedy specialist Fabien Onteniente, known for the hit “Camping” franchise, is set to direct the redo of the movie about an Italian slacker – played in the original by comic sensation Checco Zalone – who is hell-bent on holding on to his parasitic government job. The screenplay is being written by Guy Laurent (“Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu ?”). French distributor SND is on board. The plan is for cameras to roll in April 2019.

The still-untitled adaptation is among projects in advanced stages announced by prominent Italian producers Pietro Valsecchi and Camilla Nesbitt, who have launched a Paris-based company, Medset, that will handle the bulk of their film productions. Medset is an outpost of their TaoDue film and TV shingle, which is fully owned by Mediaset.

Tapping into Italy’s national psyche, “Quo Vado” grossed $68 million locally in 2016, single-handedly accounting for more than 10% of the country’s total box office haul that year.

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Medset is adapting another recent Italian hit, “Perfect Strangers,” into “Le Jeu” in France.  Directed by Fred Cavayè, who made “Radin!” with French comedy superstar Dany Boon, “Le Jeu” features an all-star ensemble cast including Bérénice Bejo, Suzanne Clément, Stéphane De Groodt, and Vincent Elbaz. Medset has teamed up with Paris-based Mars Films on the pic, now in post, which Mars Distribution will release in France later this year.

Valsecchi said that, while TaoDue will continue to make some movies in Italy, it is shifting its focus to French productions because there aren’t enough big Italian directors “aside from a dozen name auteurs such as Paolo Sorrentino and Paolo Virzi.” Also, Valsecchi and Nesbitt are angry that new Italian film legislation favors indie producers, who now get a 30% tax credit, whereas TaoDue will only be eligible for 15% because it’s tied to a broadcaster. Valsecchi called the different treatment “absurd and punishing.” Nesbitt said French production incentives do not make such a distinction.

Valsecchi said Medset is also developing another film for the French market titled “The Night Off,” which he described as “a comedy that turns into a thriller,” about “the generation of money-obsessed thirty-somethings.” The screenplay is written by Valsecchi and Italian writer Andrea Nobile, whose credits include hit TaoDue TV series “Squadra Anti-Mafia – Palermo Oggi” and “R.I.S.”

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