Bouli Lanners, the Belgian actor-director of “The Giants” and “Eldorado,” is teaming with “Peaky Blinders” helmer Tim Mielants to direct “Wise Blood,” an English-language film that will star “Game of Thrones” actor Michelle Fairley and Julian Glover.
“Wise Blood” is a Belgian-Scottish-French co-production between Versus Production, barry crerar, and Playtime, which will handle international sales on the film. The project was first reported in Le Film Français.
On top of writing and co-directing “Wise Blood,” Lanners will star as Phil, a robust middle-aged man living in a Presbyterian community on the Isle of Lewis, in northern Scotland. One night, Phil suffers a stroke, causing him to lose his memory. Millie, a fellow Presbyterian who takes care of him, tells him falsely that they were secretly in love before his accident. As the pair “rekindle” their love affair, Millie fears Phil will one day recover his memory and discover her lie.
Mielants previously directed Lanners in his feature debut, “De Patrick,” which won the Next Wave Award at Austin this year. Mielants has directed a number of TV series, notably Season 3 of the hit British crime drama “Peaky Blinders.”
Lanners is one of Belgium’s best-known directors and actors. His directorial credits include “Ultranova” and “The First, The Last” which world premiered at Berlin and won prizes; and “Eldorado” and “The Giants,” which opened at Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and also picked up awards. As an actor, Lanners has also garnered some critical success, including in Claire Burger’s “Real Love” (pictured), which won best film at Venice Days.
“Bouli Lanners has a voice and a unique brand of filmmaking, and this ambitious project will showcase his uniqueness while tackling a bigger subject in a more polished way than his previous films,” said Nicolas Brigaud-Robert at Playtime. “Bringing auteurs onto the global market is what we do best at Playtime, and it’s becoming easier today with barriers of nationality coming down.”
Playtime worked with Lanners on “Ultranova” and “Eldorado.”
“Wise Blood” will start shooting this week. It will be release by Ad Vitam in France and by O’Brother Distribution in Belgium.