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Arnaud Desplechin, Michel Hazanavicius, and Michael Fassbender Secure New Projects

Written by on May 4, 2016 

arnaud desplechin Ismaël

Update: Magnolia has acquired the film, officially titled Ismael’s Ghosts, Variety reports.

When interviewing Arnaud Desplechin last fall, I briefly got word of the film that will follow his recently released My Golden Days. As it went:

“I formed this character. It’s about this character, and I was thinking about Vertigo. It’s a melancholy… it’s not melancholy. It’s quite a tragic character… no, it’s not a tragic character. It’s a strange character. It’s a strange woman. She disappeared for 20 years, and she’s back, and I started to write some good scenes with this material, this woman who’s back from the dead. She was supposed to be dead and she’s back. The guy is surprised. I’m calling him Ismael right now. Just right now; I will change it later. Right now I’m calling him Ismael, and I realized that this woman is coming from Sabbath’s Theater.”

This is now coming to fruition. Per Screen Daily, Desplechin has partnered with Wild Bunch for Les Fantomes d’Ismaël (we’ll probably call this something along the lines of The Ghosts of Ismaël), which is there said to concern “a filmmaker whose life is sent into a tailspin by the return of a former lover just as he is about to embark on the shoot of a new film.” It will surprise nobody that Mathieu Amalric is the first actor listed among its cast, a collection that also includes Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Louis Garrel.

With Les Fantomes d’Ismaël in pre-production, one imagines it lands at Cannes next year.

michel hazanaviciusSpeaking of Louis Garrel, albeit on a less-promising note: the same story informs us he’ll play someone called Jean-Luc Godard in a relationship drama directed by Michel Hazanavicius, whose career hit something of a snag when The Search — a film you’ve probably never heard of or forgotten about entirely — didn’t earn so much as 1/10th of the attention lavished upon his previous picture, The Artist.

Titled Redoubtable, this project concerns Godard’s relationship with Anne Wiazemsky, specifically within his late-60s “revolutionary period” — fitting, as it begins with the production of his Mao-centered La Chinoise. Stacy Martin (High-Rise, Nymphomaniac) has been slated to portray Wiazemsky, whose memoirs serve as the basis for a movie that “will take [stylistic and aesthetic] inspiration from the films around which the story is set.” This, it sort of goes without saying, includes “gently poking fun at some of their characteristics, such as the slogans etc.,” according to Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval.

I can’t say I’m especially excited by the prospect, but, good Lord, I am curious for what Hazanavicius and Studio Canal give us.

Meanwhile, Variety tells us Michael Fassbender is eyeing a new starring vehicle, Entering Hades, in which he’d play Jack Unterweger, an Australian writer “who led a double life investigating murders by day and killing by night – amassing a body count of 11 people across multiple continents.” As scripted by Bill Wheeler and rewritten by Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), the project — based on John Leake‘s fact-based book — the picture has Broad Green Pictures’ backing, with the actor’s DMC Film producing alongside Storyscape Entertainment.


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