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Jérôme Salle and the epic shoot for The Odyssey

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- Lambert Wilson, Audrey Tautou and Pierre Niney star in this adventure biopic about Jacques Cousteau, staged by Fidélité and Pan Européenne

Jérôme Salle and the epic shoot for The Odyssey
Lambert Wilson during the shoot for L'Odyssée

Having kicked off on 7 September, the unusual shoot for The Odyssey [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Jérôme Salle has now entered the home stretch. The cast and crew, who have already been hard at work in Croatia and South Africa, are now homeward bound after shooting some sequences in the Antarctic, and there are only a few scenes left to shoot in the Bahamas in January before filming wraps.

An adventure biopic revolving around famous naval officer Jacques Cousteau, the film is the fifth feature by the director, following Anthony Zimmer (nominated for the César Award for Best Debut Film in 2006), the solid French and international box-office hits Largo Winch [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2008) and The Burma Conspiracy [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2011), and Zulu [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
(which closed the Cannes Film Festival out of competition in 2013). The cast of his new opus includes Lambert Wilson (nominated three times for the César Award for Best Actor, including in 2011 for Of Gods and Men [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Xavier Beauvois
film profile
]
), Audrey Tautou (Amélie, Coco Before Chanel [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
; nominated for the César Award for Best Actress in 2002, 2005 and 2010) and rising star Pierre Niney (winner of the César Award for Best Actor in 2015 for Yves Saint Laurent [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jalil Lespert
film profile
]
and due to be seen on screens in 2016 in such films as Frantz [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: François Ozon
film profile
]
 by François Ozon – read the article).

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

“This is the most risky project in production that we have ever staged,” Marc Missonnier (of Fidélité Films) told Cineuropa. “We have had to confront a lot of unforeseen events because you never know, for example, if the water will be clear enough for filming or how the weather will develop. But in the end, we have all the images we wanted to get, and the film will be just spectacular.”

Written by Jérôme Salle and Laurent Turner (nominated for the Lumière Award for Best Screenplay in 2014 for 9 Month Stretch [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), and based on Capitaine de la Calypso by Albert Falco and Yves Paccalet, and My Father, The Captain by Jean-Michel Cousteau, the story kicks off in summer 1946. Jacques Cousteau takes his son, Philippe, by the hand and leads him into the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Thanks to a little diving suit tailor-made just for him, the child is able to breathe underwater for the first time in his life. Awe-stricken, he discovers this silent world that his father was the first to explore – this magical, magnificent world brimming with multi-coloured fauna.
 Ten years later, when Philippe, now a grown up, meets with his dad again on board the Calypso, he finds that his father, whom he had idolised, has truly changed. Having now become a star all around the world thanks to cinema and television, Jacques roams the planet, taking giant strides each time. He embarks upon a string of increasingly megalomaniac projects, and dreams of grafting gills onto men and building cities under the sea.
 Flinging himself headlong into this mad rush, Jacques is in the process of wrecking everything – primarily his family, but also this underwater world he discovered 20 years ago. A world that is beginning to be ravaged by pollution and progress...

Produced by Marc Missonnier and Olivier Delbosc for Fidélité Films, and by Nathalie Gastaldo and Philippe Godeau for Pan Européenne, The Odyssey is being co-produced by Belgian outfit Versus and by TF1 Films Production. Having also been pre-purchased by Canal+ and OCS, the film, which will benefit from a score composed by Oscar winner Alexandre Desplat, will be distributed in France by Wild Bunch (on 12 October 2016), which is also in charge of international sales.

(Translated from French)

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