Matt Dillon (“The House That Jack Built”) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (“Antichrist,” “Nymphomaniac”) are attached to star in Fred Garson’s “An Ocean Apart,” a period drama about the romantic affair between French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir and American writer Nelson Algren.
The film is being developed by French producer Olivier Delbosc at Curiosa Films, which is presenting Xavier Giannoli’s Venice competition player “Lost Illusions” and Yvan Attal’s “Les choses humaines,” and Matthew Gledhill at Wheelhouse Prods. Dillon is at Venice with “Land of Dreams,” screening in the Horizons section, and Gainsbourg stars in “Les choses humaines,” unspooling out of competition. Jeffrey Kurz, Alexandra Stone and John Ptak developed the project from a story by Jerry Felix and are exec producing.
Set during the late 1940s in Paris and Chicago, “An Ocean Apart” was written by Ron Raley, in collaboration with Garson and Claire Barré. The film charts the fiery yet mostly letter-based relationship between Beauvoir and Algren that spanned from 1947 to 1964. Algren, who was Jewish, is best known for the novel “The Man With the Golden Arm,” which won the National Book Award in 1950 and was adapted into Otto Preminger’s film with Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak.
De Beauvoir, an outspoken feminist and liberated woman who was married to famed philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, published many iconic books that are still culturally relevant, including “The Second Sex.”
“Although they were both in their forties, they shared an adolescent passion which they had never experienced before,” said Garson, whose previous credits include “Les hommes de l’ombre” and “Qui sème le vent.” “Simone De Beauvoir had been married to Sartre for 20 years and she was at crossroads in her career; she was just beginning to write ‘Le deuxième sexe.'”
The film will be lensed by Virginie Saint Martin (“Tango Libre”). Curiosa is currently raising financing for the film.
Garson recently wrapped the ambitious series “The Perfect Mother,” a French-German thriller that was produced by Quad Drama and Nadcon Film (“The Bridge,” “The Killing”), and co-produced by TF1, Netflix and ZDF. The series is based on Nina Darnton’s novel by the same name, which is a fictionalized account of the Amanda Knox case. The series was written by Carol Noble, whose credits include feature “Ballerina,” in collaboration with Thomas Boullé. Shot between Berlin and Paris, the series stars Julie Gayet, Tomer Sisley and Andreas Pietschmann.