Disney+ has teamed up with Chi-Fou-Mi, the Paris-based banner behind “The Stronghold,” to produce its French film original, “Une zone à défendre.”
The environment-themed thriller romance is set to be directed by Romain Cogitore (“L’autre continent,” “Nos resistances”) and will launch on the streamer in 2023 in France and around the world.
A pair of rising French actors, François Civil (“The Stronghold”) and Lyna Khoudri (“Papicha”), will co-star in “Une zone à défendre” as lovers with clashing agendas.
Penned by Cogitore, the movie tells the story of Myriam (Khoudri), a militant fighting against the construction of a roadblock, and Greg (Civil), a police officer who goes undercover to gather intelligence on this movement of protesters which Myriam belongs to. The film has just started shooting and is produced by Hugo Selignac and Bruno Dumont at Chi-Fou-Mi Productions, a Mediawan company whose recent credits includes Cedric Jimenez’s “November” and Quentin Dupieux’s “Smoking Causes Coughing” — both of which world premiered at Cannes.
“It’s a brand new adventure which begins for us today, an ambitious project with a prestigious cast and a great collaboration with the entire team,” said Pauline Dauvin, VP of programming, production and acquisition at The Walt Disney Company France.
“This story, which charts a romance and is set against the backdrop of a civic rebellion, completes perfectly the previous local original productions that Disney+ launched this year and strengthens our position as leading partner for French production,” continued Dauvin.
Civil earned a Cesar nomination for his supporting role in Cedric Jimenez’s Cannes-premiering “The Stronghold” and previously starred in “Ce qui nous lie,” “Deux moi” and “The Wolf’s Call.” He’s also in the voice cast of “Lightyear.”
Khoudri, meanwhile, won the Cesar award for best female newcomer for her performance in Mounia Meddour’s Cannes movie “Papicha,” as well as starred in “The Specials” and “The French Dispatch.”
“With ‘Une zone à defendre,’ I have the ambition to tackle environmental and political themes within a romance and venture into a double genre — the undercover thriller and the melodrama to tell a moment of our contemporary history which (militants) are calling the ‘collapse of the old world,'” said Cogitore.
Dumont, said the idea with “Une zone à defendre” was to make an important film about love, engagement and resistance. Dumont said Disney+ was the ideal platform to shine a spotlight of this politically-minded spy melodrama in France and abroad.
Disney+ made its first original series in France with “Oussekine” which recently launched on the service and is inspired by the true story of Malik Oussekine, a victim of police brutality in France.