Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: French helmer Olivier Dahan has signed on to direct the Arash Amel script Grace Of Monaco. Dahan, who directed Marion Cotillard to an Academy Award for La Vie En Rose, has been in on meetings that producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has taken as they figure out the right young actress who’ll play actress-turned-Monaco princess Grace Kelly. The producer is fully funding the $15 million project. Based on the acclaim that Michelle Williams has gotten for her Marilyn Monroe turn in My Week with Marilyn, Meryl Streep for Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady and the Oscar that Colin Firth won for playing King George VI in The King’s Speech last year, playing 20th century icons certainly has its appeal. And the script made the Black List.

The film covers a half-year period in 1962 when French leader Charles De Gaulle and Monaco’s Prince Rainier III were at odds over Monaco’s standing as a tax haven. France gave Monaco six months to reform its tax laws, and the situation escalated. By that time, Kelly (33 at the time) had given up her acting career to become a full-time princess, and the film details her political maneuvering behind the scenes to save Monaco. CAA reps Dahan. Now, who is the right actress to play Princess Grace?

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