EXCLUSIVE: Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) is joining Oscar-nominee Adam Driver and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard in Leos Carax’s (Holy Motors) long-gestating musical romance Annette.
Shoot is underway on Carax’s first English-language film, which is set against the backdrop of Los Angeles. Pic will follow star-crossed lovers: a stand-up comedian (Driver) and a modern opera star (Cotillard), with both Driver and Cotillard doing their own singing. Florence Foster Jenkins star Helberg will take the role of ‘The Conductor’.
The film will bring together U.S. rock band Sparks, which has scripted the movie and is composing original songs, and celebrated music producer Marius de Vries, known for his work on La La Land, Bohemian Rhapsody and Moulin Rouge, who will serve as executive music producer.
Producing are Charles Gillibert’s (Personal Shopper) CG Cinema, Driver and Paul-Dominique Vacharasinthu (The Jesus Rolls) of Tribus P Films.
Amazon Studios will distribute in the U.S. via a deal brokered with CAA Media Finance. UGC will distribute in France, and Kinology is handling international sales.
Pic will shoot in Belgium, Germany and LA and sees French auteur Carax team up with regular collaborators including director of photography Caroline Champetier. The star-crossed lovers theme has been fertile ground for the filmmaker in movies such as Boy Meets Girl (1984) and Lovers On the Bridge (1991).
Co-producing are Fabian Gasmia (Detail Films), Benoit Roland (Wrong Men), Geneviève Lemal (Scope Pictures) Kenzo Horikoshi (Eurospace) and Julio Chavezmontes (Piano). The feature is made in association with Amazon Studios, Arte and Canal +. Release will be 2020.
In an episode almost befitting of a Carax movie, a mini-crisis was averted this week when the filmmaker’s dog was safely returned to him after going missing on set. The story of the errant pup went viral after Adam Driver filmed an appeal posted on instagram by his Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill.
La Vie En Rose star Cotillard is represented by CAA and Agence Adequat; Star Wars star Driver is repped by Gersh and Robert Offer of Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Helberg is repped by UTA, MGMT and Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder and Christopher.
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