The Cannes Film Festival will wrap with Jérôme Salle’s noir thriller Zulu on May 26. The Pathé, Lobster Tree and M6 Films co-production stars Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom. Shot on location in South Africa, it’s based on the award-winning novel by French author Caryl Férey. Whitaker and Bloom play Cape Town cops investigating the murder of two women. Salle, whose credits include The Burma Conspiracy and Anthony Zimmer, the original basis for The Tourist, co-wrote Zulu with Julien Rappeneau, scripter of last year’s French hit Cloclo. Zulu was produced by Richard Grandpierre and will be released in France by Pathé, which is also handling international sales. The score is by Oscar nominee Alexandre Desplat. Last year’s closing film was the late Claude Miller’s Thérèse Desqueyroux. The festival opens May 15 with Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
As craftily built co-productions become increasingly attractive, Studiocanal executive Léonard Glowinski is moving on to launch Paris-based production structuring and financing group 22h22. Glowinski, who started out as a banker for BNP Media in the 90s, spent 10 years at Pathé before joining Studiocanal in 2009 as head of French and European productions. He tells me the new company will bring European backing to international producers on films with substantial budgets in order to best optimize financing and reduce risk. He intends to work with a small number of films from the outset, creating co-production packages that take advantage of the various mechanisms available throughout Europe including subsidies, local incentives and private equity. Films that Glowinski had a hand in structuring at Pathé include Oliver Stone’s Alexander, box office hit Asterix And Obelix At The Olympic Games and Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell And The Butterfly which he executive produced. At Studiocanal, he was involved in putting together Liam Neeson-starrer Unknown and Oscar nominee Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
What’s in a name? Well if the name is Adolph – and it’s what you plan to call your new baby – you can be sure there’s a hornet’s nest. That’s just the tip of the iceberg in Alexandre de la Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte’s hit Parisien play Le Prénom (The Name) which Pathé is bringing to the bigscreen. I’ve learned that the French major is co-producing and will begin international sales on the feature next week at the Rendez-Vous With French Cinema in Paris. The film stars Patrick Bruel, Valérie Benguigui, Charles Berling, Guillaume de Tonquédec and Judith El Zein. The premise is this: Expectant father Bruel is interrogated as to the baby’s name during a dinner at his sister and brother-in-law’s home. When he announces he’s chosen “Adolph,” the family is plunged into chaos. He defends the name on an intellectual basis – it is after all the title of a famous piece of 19th century literature by Benjamin Constant – but the family is having none of it. The bourgeois-bohemian living room satire extends to other discoveries about the family and was a hit at Paris’ Théâtre Edouard VII last year, drawing comparison to Harold Pinter.
EXCLUSIVE: Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company and Pathe are ready to go on Pinocchio, a 3D stop motion animated adaptation of the Carlo Collodi fairy tale that will be edgier than the 1940 animated Disney classic. Gris Grimly will co-direct with Mark Gustafson, and production will begin later …