Mathias Malzieu is set to direct “A Mermaid in Paris,” a romantic comedy/fantasy with Reda Kateb and Clémence Poesy.
Kinology is handling international sales on the film, as well as co-producing with Wonder Films, Entre Chien et Loup and TimpelPictures. Sony will distribute the film in France. Virginie Ledoyen, Rossy de Palma and Eric Cantona round out the cast.
Malzieu, who made his feature debut with the animated film “Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart,” wrote “A Mermaid in Paris” with Stéphane Landowski (“Rise of a Star”).
“‘A Mermaid in Paris’ will be Mathias’ first live-action film and it will mark the birth of a visionary auteur in the veins of Michel Gondry — he has an amazingly rich imagination, unusual way of telling stories full of whimsical charm and talent for creating endearing characters,” said Gregoire Melin, founder of Kinology.
Malzieu, who’s also a singer and an artist, wrote a “A Mermaid in Paris” book and has composed an original score for the film. Both the book and the score will come out before the film’s release.
“A Mermaid in Paris” will star Kateb as Gaspard, a man who has gone through breakups and believes he has no more love to give. One day, he crosses paths with an injured mermaid, Lula (Poesy), by the Seine in Paris and takes her home to heal in his bathtub, but learns that any man who falls in love with her dies. Initially immune to her endearing charm, Gaspard slowly falls in love with Lula, who also truly falls for him.
Malzieu said he was inspired by iconic movies ranging from “E.T.” to “Amelie” to “Girl on the Bridge” and “City Lights.”
The movie will start shooting next spring in Paris.