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Jim Carrey’s ‘Pierre Pierre’ and Jonathan Demme’s ‘Zeitoun’ Gain Traction Again

Written by on February 13, 2012 

If you don’t hear anything about a project for more than 18 months — no matter the size or prestige — something’s probably not going to plan. Such was the case with Pierre Pierre, a comedy that Jim Carrey has been trying to get into motion for years to no avail. Our last update, as indicated came in mid-July of 2010, when Borat Larry Charles (Borat) was brought on to helm Edwin Cannistraci and Frederick Seton‘s Black List script, which revolves around “a self-indulgent French nihilist (Carrey) who steals the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in the hope of selling it so he can finally move out of his parents house.” Since then, it’s been nothing but quiet.

Until now, with ScreenDaily reporting that Charles, Carrey, Foresight Unlimited, Mandalay Vision, and Lago Films are powering the thing back to life, as the latter three groups have signed on to produce the picture at a $30 million budget. That might sound high for a film that’s been stuck so long, but it’ll surely be justified when the “strong supporting cast” — a group said to be in talks right now — sign on; as Matthew Rhodes of Mandalay puts it, they’re “real-sink-your-teeth-into roles for both European and US actors.” But it gets even better: Fox, who exited alongside Jason Reitman, might be encouraged enough to come back as distributors. With all of this happening at such a quick rate, a summer shoot looks to be the plan.

But, while Pierre Pierre sounds like a fun time, I think I’m more encouraged by the other story from ScreenDaily (via ThePlaylist), which informs us that Jonathan Demme‘s Zeitoun has, like Carrey‘s comedy, got a jumpstart. This is courtesy of French company MK2, who’ve agreed to produce the animated, Hurricane Katrina-centered story for a nice $15 million.

The adaptation of Dave Eggers‘ novel was first optioned back in 2009; despite a script that may very well be finished, it got stuck in limbo for years, thanks in large part to the cost and effort required of the animation process. (One that I’ve long presumed would be rotoscope, if the book cover to your left is any sign.) The story itself is also a little more “political” than many backers might go for, as it follows Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a New Orleans native who went around his city in an effort to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina, but was soon arrested and placed in a jail cell for 23 days, all while being labeled a terrorist.

After all these delays and lapses in coverage, Zeitoun is now headed for a 2014 release. Longer than most of us would like, but that’s good enough for me.

Which project are you happier to hear about getting back into shape?

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