Kusturica and Fidélité Films join forces on Pancho Villa biopic
by Fabien Lemercier
After Promise Me This [+see also:
film profile], filmmaker Emir Kusturica and French production company Fidélité Films (headed by Olivier Delboscq and Marc Missonnier) are to join forces again for the Serbian director’s ninth narrative feature: a biopic about outlaw-turned-general Pancho Villa, a figure of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-20.
Entitled Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman with Six Fingers, the film – co-written by Kusturica and Gordan Mihic (who co-wrote Black Cat, White Cat and Time of the Gypsies) – is adapted from James Carlos Blake’s novel The Friends of Pancho Villa.
The book centres on the character of Rodolfo Fierro, Pancho Villa’s most faithful lieutenant, and retraces – from a very dark perspective – the epic of Mexican revolutionaries who were both idealistic and cruel.
There are Dantean cavalcades, relentless and fierce fighting, wars in which land is constantly conquered and recovered, brutal betrayals, alliances broken as quickly as they are sealed and almost miraculous resurrections. All this unfolds in an often hostile country where railways are a major strategic weapon.
Shooting is set to kick off in late 2009-early 2010 and will take place mainly in Mexico and Spain. Moreover, Kusturica has announced that he hopes to persuade Spanish actor Javier Bardem to play Pancho Villa.
Fidélité Films – who are currently enjoying box office success with Pascale Pouzadoux’s Changing Sides [+see also:
film profile] (1.47m admissions in four weeks) and Fred Cavayé’s Anything For Her [+see also:
film profile] (667,000 viewers in nine weeks) – are also handling post-production for Laurent Tirard’s Le Petit Nicolas (“Little Nicholas”, release date: September 30, 2009) and their co-production La Nuit des enfants rois (“The Night of the Child Kings”) by Antoine Charreyron.
(Translated from French)
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