Isabelle Huppert, the Oscar-nominated actor of “Elle,” is set to reteam with French director Jean-Paul Salomé (“Mama Weed”) on the French thriller “The Sitting Duck.”
The movie, produced by Bertrand Faivre at Le Bureau and co-produced by Bettina Brokemper at Heimatfilm, boasts a stellar cast, which also includes Benoit Magimel, Marina Fois, Alexandra Maria Lara, Grégory Gadebois and François-Xavier Demaison.
Huppert previously starred in Salomé’s crime comedy “Mama Weed” as a French-Arabic translator for the Paris drug police who becomes a savvy wholesale pusher.
The French star will this time star as Maureen Kearney, a whistleblower who is found in her home, tied to a chair, the letter “A” carved into her abdomen, and a knife handle inserted into her vagina. Traumatized, she has no memory of the assault. But the investigation uncovers new elements leading Maureen to become a suspect.
The Bureau Sales (“True Things”) will launch the project at the Unifrance Rendez-Vous in Paris with the script, which the company’s head of global sales, Clementine Hugot, described as a “real page-turner with a strong international appeal.”
“The film is based on the true story of a courageous and determined woman, a European Erin Brockovich, in a way (…) and the environment that surrounds her story is tied to issues that transcend borders,” added Hugot.
Now in pre-production, the movie is an adaptation of the French novel “La Syndicaliste” by Caroline Michel-Aguirre.
“Who better than Isabelle Huppert to portray such a woman, strong and fragile, determined but multi-layered,” said the producers Faivre and Brokemper. The pair said that despite COVID, Salomé and Huppert “have just finished a joyful tour of Europe with ‘Mama Weed’ which was a commercial success in theaters in France (422,000 tickets sold), Germany (135,000 in only three weeks before the theaters unfortunately closed), and many other European countries.”
Salomé, who co-wrote the script with Fadette Drouard, said he “immediately felt the cinematographic potential of this incredible investigation set in the world of nuclear power and politics.”
“The project naturally fell into the tradition of the great paranoid thrillers of which I am particularly fond,” added the filmmaker, whose credits include “Playing Dead,” “The Chameleon,” “Female Agents” and “Arsène Lupin.”
Salomé said the story was a “drama that frightens through its clinical approach to themes as current and burning as the place of women in the spheres of power; the importance granted their speech; and the assumption of their madness and of their manipulative nature.”
The helmer said “The Sitting Duck” was also a “story of a woman in a world of men unaccustomed to seeing women risk whatever it takes to attack those at the top.”
“The Sitting Duck” will be distributed in France by Jean Labadie at Le Pacte and in Germany by Weltkino.
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