Kad Merad, star of Dany Boon’s “Welcome to the Sticks,” the highest-grossing film of all time in France, will star in Stéphane Berthomieux’s “Playback,” which has been picked up for international sales by Paris-based Luxbox.
Produced by director Mathieu Demy, whose credits include Salma Hayek-starrer “Americano” and TV series “The Bureau,” “Playback,” the fiction feature debut of documentarian Berthomieux. Pic co-stars Déborah François, star of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Palme d’Or winning “The Child,” and Geraldine Chaplin.
Variety has also had exclusive access to the film’s poster.
Co-written by Demy and Berthomieux, “Playback” begins on the day of Dean Martin’s death, when Daniel, a French crooner, decides to sell his vintage American car to go to Los Angeles for the funeral of his idol. Witnessing the demolition of Las Vegas’ Sands Hotel — the ultimate symbol of his Dean Martin-esque fantasy — Daniel kills off his beloved crooner persona, returns to France, and finds himself forced, in spite of himself, to face a rebirth when his biological daughter walks back into his life to confront her father.
Scheduled to shoot late 2020 and combining music and cinema as a backdrop, “Playback” turns on “the search for identity, remembrance, filiation, redemption, and a fascination for the Golden Age of Hollywood,” said Berthomieux.
“I met Stéphane Berthomieux five years ago. I was immediately struck by his screenplay’s original pollen, its melancholic and funny nuances and its trans-Atlantic dimension,” said producer Demy.
“Having Kad Merad on board will draw the attention of distributors who appreciate his enormous range as an actor and his high popularity ratings with international audiences,” added Luxbox founding partners Fiorella Moretti and Hédi Zardi.