×

French Producer Hugo Selignac Boards New Projects by Cedric Jimenez, Quentin Dupieux (EXCLUSIVE)

France’s top producer Hugo Selignac, who had a banner year in 2018 with “Sink or Swim” and “In Safe Hands,” is set to produce the next projects of high-profile filmmakers Cedric Jimenez (“The Man With the Iron Heart”) and Quentin Dupieux (“Deerskin”).

Jimenez’s project, “Bac Nord,” is an ambitious thriller following a police brigade working in the dangerous northern neighborhoods of Marseille, where the level of crime is higher than anywhere else in France.

“Bac Nord” will be headlined by a strong cast of French stars, including Gilles Lellouche, the director “Sink or Swim” and actor of “Little White Lies 2,” as well as Francois Civil (“Wolf’s Call”), who just won the Chopard Trophy Award for rising talent; Karim Leklou, who earned a Cesar nomination for best newcomer for his performance in “The World Is Yours”; Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”); and Kenza Fortas, who just won best female newcomer at the Cesar Awards for her role in “Shéhérazade.”

Although the film boasts a similar gritty backdrop to Cannes’ competition highlight “Les Miserables,” “Bac Nord” has a more action-driven approach and is based on a true scandal involving two cops working in the tough neighborhoods of Marseille who were involved in drug trafficking and got caught by authorities.

Popular on Variety

Jimenez said “Bac Nord” will be told from the perspective of the cops, who are put under pressure from their hierarchy to achieve results at all costs in an area where crime is rampant.

A native of Marseille, Jimenez penned the script with Audrey Diwan, his co-screenwriter of “The Connection” and the Rosamund Pike-starrer “The Man With the Iron Heart,” in collaboration with Benjamin Charbit (“En liberté!”). Comparing the project with his last two movies, Jimenez said “Bac Nord” would have the same underlying theme of people who are being crushed by their hierarchies. The movie will start shooting on Aug. 5 with a budget of €13.2 million, making it one of France’s highest-bracket films slated for next year.

Dupieux, whose latest film, “Deerskin” with Jean Dujardin opened Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, will next write and direct “Mandibules,” an offbeat comedy about two simple-minded friends who discover a giant fly stuck in the trunk of a car and decide to domesticate it to earn money with it.

Budgeted at €4.9 million, “Mandibules” will start shooting in September, with Denis Menochet (“The French Dispatch”), Anais Demoustier, who stars in Directors’ Fortnight player “Alice and the Mayor,” David Marsais (“Santa & Cie”), Gregoire Ludig (“Au Poste!”) and Exarchopoulos.

A critically laureled fantasist filmmaker, Dupieux is best known for writing and helming “Rubber,” about a homicidal tire, as well as “Wrong,” which competed at Sundance in 2012, and “Realité” which played at Venice in 2014.

Both “Bac Nord” and “Mandibules” will mark Selignac’s first collaboration with Dupieux and Jimenez. The young producer was featured in Variety’s 10 Producers to Watch last year and earned a combined 17 Cesar nominations (France’s equivalent to the Oscars) for Lellouche’s ensemble comedy-drama “Sink or Swim,” which world premiered in Cannes and was one of the highest-grossing French films of 2018, and “In Safe Hands.” Although he’s producing “Bac Nord” and “Mandibules” solo, Selignac is a frequent producing partner of Alain Attal, who won last year’s Toscan du Plantier prize for the best French producer and shared it with Selignac.

More Film

  • Time's Up U.K. Teams With British

    British Stars Carey Mulligan, Himesh Patel Compile 'Alternative BAFTA' Nominees List

    British stars including Carey Mulligan, Himesh Patel and Gemma Arterton have contributed to an ‘Alternative BAFTAs’ list of nominees that honors talent overlooked by this year’s awards. The campaign is organized by Time’s Up U.K., which is rolling out a social media blitz this week in the lead-up to Sunday’s BAFTA awards honoring the women [...]

  • Rebecca Hall appears in The Night

    'The Night House': Film Review

    A knack for creepy atmospherics and individual scares goes a long way in the horror genre, and it takes “The Night House” pretty far. Though this tale of a new widow’s apparent haunting gets progressively lost in a narrative maze that’s complicated without being particularly rewarding, . Rebecca Hall plays Beth, an upstate New York [...]

  • Herself

    Amazon Studios Buys Phyllida Lloyd's 'Herself' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has nabbed North American rights to Phyllida Lloyd’s “Herself,” an Irish drama about a woman who builds her dream house after escaping an abusive marriage, Variety has learned.  The streaming service is planning a theatrical release for later this year. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where it enjoyed a warm [...]

  • Blast Beat

    'Blast Beat': Film Review

    Back home in Bogota, teen brothers Carly and Mateo — played by siblings (and Disney Channel veterans) Mateo and Moisés Arias — are metal-blasting, skateboard-riding punks, and reluctant partners in crime. Carly, the sensible one, can’t prevent Mateo from dynamiting a dollhouse. But he’ll swoop in, hair flapping like a vampire’s cape, to rescue his [...]

  • Rebecca Hall appears in The Night

    Rebecca Hall's 'The Night House' Sells to Searchlight Out of Sundance

    Searchlight Pictures is closing in on the worldwide distribution rights to “The Night House,” a supernatural thriller that premiered to strong reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, insiders close to the deal said. Directed by David Bruckner and starring Rebecca Hall, the deal is reportedly valued at roughly $12 million. It marks the first [...]

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell in

    'Downhill': Film Review

    Pete (Will Ferrell) and Billie (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) are a prosperous American couple who’ve taken their two sons on a ski vacation to the Alps. Are they having fun yet? That’s a question that hovers over the movie, as the family members hit the slopes and make pilgrimages to the alpine-lodge restaurant, or retire to their [...]

  • Joe Keery appears in Spree by

    'Spree': Film Review

    It didn’t seem like there was a large portion of the movie-going population who felt that Todd Phillips’ “Joker” was too subtle, in either its commentary on the modern era of those who are involuntarily celibate, or its homage-like appropriation of classic Martin Scorsese movies. But maybe writer-director-producer Eugene Kotlyarenko has other information, since that’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content