Fabrice du Welz, whose latest film “Inexorable” (pictured) played at Toronto, is reteaming with his Belgian producer Jean-Yves Roubin at Frakas Production on his next project, “Maldoror.”
Inspired by a true story, “Maldoror” follows Paul Chartier, a young policeman who became obsessed with a case involving a notorious child abuser after coming close to catching him. Popular Belgian actor Benoit Poelvoorde, the star of “Inexorable,” is part of the cast of “Maldoror.”
Roubin, who is attending San Sebastian with Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s “Earwig,” as well as “Titane” (which he co-produced), described “Maldoror” as a mix of thriller and film noir in a similar vein to David Fincher’s “Zodiac.” He said the film, now in development, was inspired by a notorious crime case that shook Belgium in the 1990s, known as the Affaire Dutroux.
Marc Dutroux was a convicted Belgian serial killer, rapist, and child molester who was sentenced to life in prison in 1996. “The movie will revolve around the cop who was tracking down Dutroux,” explained Roubin, pointing out that du Welz fictionalized the character.
“Maldoror” marks du Welz’s follow up to “Adoration” which opened at Locarno and won prizes at Sitges, among other festivals. The Belgian helmer is best-known for directing the horror movies “Calvaire” and “Vinyan.” Roubin said he was interested in working with du Welz on genre films that are accessible to audiences beyond his fan base as is “Inexorable.” Du Welz is currently finishing the script of “Maldoror” and is expected to start shooting next year.
“We love elevated genre films that ruffle feathers; no wonder our company is named Frakas (which means a rough quarrel),” said the producer.
Frakas is also set to reteam with Michaël Roskam (“Bullhead,” “Racer and the Jailbird”) on a pair of projects, including “Le Faux Soir” which is in early development. The period film, based on a true story, follows a man who saw his parents get murdered by German soldiers during WW1 in 1914, and becomes a revengeful member of the resistance during WWII, turning a local Belgian newspaper into a patriotic and satirical tract aimed at fighting the Nazis.
Roubin is also developing a flurry of ambitious projects by female directors, including Delphine Noels with “Krieg” and Martha Bergman with “Amareo”; and feature debuts such as Marion Renard’s “Blood Makes Noise,” Noemie Nicolas’s “Some Velvet Morning” and Aline Magrez’s “L’Idylle.”
One of Belgium’s most successful and daring producers, Roubin said female directors represent between 60% and 70% of Frakas’s lineup. “We don’t do it on purpose; it just happens that these directors are true artists regardless of their gender,” said Roubin who presides the production guild in Belgium. “We’re talking about setting up quotas to increase the representation of women in our industry and it shouldn’t be an issue considering the many talented female directors out there,” Roubin added.
The company is also highly active as a co-producer. Some of its recent co-producing credits include Julia Ducournau’s Palme d’Or winning “Titane” and Arthur Harari’s Un Certain Regard title “Onoda,” as well as “Madeleine Collins” which played at Venice.