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PRODUCTION France

War of the Buttons declared by Samuell and Barratier

by 

Shooting starts tomorrow on one of two rival adaptations of Louis Pergaud’s 1912 novel War of the Buttons, which looks at the fierce conflict between two gangs of boys in two neighbouring villages. The book has already been thrice adapted for the big screen, with Yves Robert’s version enjoying immense box office success in 1961.

It is very rare in the French film world for two projects to be made at the same time on exactly the same subject. Shooting will kick off first on One World Films’s production, helmed by Yann Samuell (Love Me If You Dare [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, With Love…From the Age of Reason [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
).

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Meanwhile, production company La Petite Reine and director Christophe Barratier (The Chorus [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Paris 36 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) will start filming their version next month.

Set in the 1960s, the cast for Samuell’s self-scripted film includes Eric Elmosnino (Best Actor César 2011 for Je T’Aime, Moi Non Plus [+see also:
trailer
Interview with Joann Sfar, director of…
interview: Kacey Mottet Klein
film profile
]
), Alain Chabat,Mathilde Seigner (Dans la Tourmente) and Fred Testot, who will play schoolteachers from two villages, the mother of young hero Lebrac and a priest, respectively.

Meanwhile, Barratier has co-written his screenplay with Stéphane Keller, with a plot transposed to 1944. It stars Kad Merad (Welcome to the Sticks [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Gérard Jugnot (The Chorus), Guillaume Canet (Farewell [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and Laetitia Casta.

Samuell’s War of the Buttons is produced by Marc du Pontavice and Didier Lupfer for One World Films. Its €12.8m budget includes co-production support from TF1 Droits Audiovisuels and TF1 Films Production.

Shooting is scheduled to last 14 weeks in Lesterps, in the Poitou-Charentes region, with lensing by DoP Julien Hirsch. UGC will release the title in theatres on November 23, 2011 and international sales are being handled by TF1 International.

Barratier’s version of War of the Buttons is produced by Thomas Langmann for La Petite Reine for €13-14m. It also has co-production backing from TF1 Films Production and Studio 37, and a pre-acquisition from Canal+.

Shooting is expected to last 12 weeks in Brivadois and Cantal, in Haute-Loire (Auvergne). Mars Distribution will launch the film in theatres in early December 2011 and Wild Bunch is managing international sales.

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(Translated from French)

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