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Cassel plays gangster for Schroeder

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- There are two films being made about the life of the French criminal Jacques Mesrine. But Thomas Langmann’s Petite Reine is going further…

Cassel plays gangster for Schroeder

L'ennemi public n°1, the film on the life of Jacques Mesrine is finally taking shape. After the agreement reached with Vincent Cassel to play the part of the famous French criminal from the ‘60s, now the director Barbet Schroeder (Barfly, Our Lady of the Assassins, Desperate measures) has accepted the offer from La Petite Reine , the production company which has launched the project.

The director and actor will actually be making two feature films from Jacques Mesrine’s autobiographical novels, "L'instinct de mort" and "Coupable d'être innocent". For Schroeder this marks a return to French cinema after an absence of 20 years, when he filmed Cheaters in 1983. The two films will be distributed by UGC, and will each have a budget of around Euros 20m. They are almost certainly bound to provoke reaction in France because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Jacques Mesrine, which still excite much debate.

This project sees the highly experienced Petite Reine continuing it’s work in large productions and big money makers: after the box office success of La Tour Montparnasse Infernale and Dead Weight, the end of 2003 will see the release of Mike Blueberry by Jan Kounen which UGC International has already started selling abroad. Other plans for Thomas Langmann’s production company include a French remake of Spies Like Us by John Landis, while shooting will be starting in November on the film Fantômas starring Jean Reno, Gilles Mimouni (L'appartement) is preparing Le cavalier suédois, an adaptation for the cinema of the novel by Leo Perutz, and the estimated budget will be Euros 30m.

(Translated from French)

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