EXCLUSIVE: Wind and rain have been sweeping the Croisette but Cassian Elwes says, “I feel like I’m on fire.” The former WMA head of independent film who’s now producing and packaging indies has skin in the game in Cannes with Lawless, which he exec produced and which screens tonight in competition And, he produced Lee Daniels’ much-buzzed The Paperboy which premieres next week. Elwes will screen it for select buyers on Tuesday. Elwes also tells me foreign sales are starting on Ain’t Them Bodies Saints via The Weinstein Co. David Lowery is writing and directing the contemporary Bonnie And Clyde-esque picture with Rooney Mara, Ben Foster and Casey Affleck attached. James Johnston, Toby Halbrooks, Amy Kaufman, Lars Knudsen, Jay Van Hoy and Elwes are producing.
Working with Werner Herzog for the first time, Elwes is also prepping Queen Of The Desert. The picture, he says, is like Lawrence Of Arabia but with a woman. It’s based on Gertrude Bell, the English writer, archaeologist and cartographer who mapped Iraq and Jordan in the early 1900s. Naomi Watts is attached. Shooting on Queen Of The Desert is expected to begin in the fall. Elwes is producing with Nick Raslan. Elwes, who recently teamed with Evolution Entertainment principal Mark Burg to launch Evolution Independent, made 7 movies last year. He expects to do 8 this year. “I’m totally driven,” he says, “I’m moving as fast as I can.”