Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Spec script opens in 600 cinemas in France

It's supposed to be too good to be true. But a rookie French scriptwriter has just seen his first filmed script premiere in France starring one of the country's biggest stars, opening on no less than 600 screens. "Jean-Philippe" was a high concept pitch with little chance of getting anywhere for years. Writer Christophe Turpin had the idea of creating a world where a die-hard Johnny Hallyday fan wakes up to discover that the singer is not a star, he's working in a bowling alley. He undertakes to turn him into the legend only he knows that he is - despite the reticence of the man himself. It has often been said that if Johnny Hallyday didn't exist, someone would have to invent him. This film took the remark literally.

What were the obstacles? The first was trying to get read. Several production houses turned the material down before a series of accidents led to an acquaintance picking up an option for the heady sum of €120,000 (payable in small bites). The acquaintance, however, had never produced a film. So he also went through a series of deals and partners, before being turned down by both stars: Johnny Hallyday and Fabrice Luchini.

Upon a closer reading, Hallyday, who already has an impressive series of films to his name, eventually warmed to the idea. "I hate talking about myself. But playing a slightly cheap Jean-Philippe Smet enabled me to 'desacralise' the Hallyday myth," he told L'Express magazine. Luchini was eventually won over by his daughter, although you'd have to be a pretty uptight actor not to want to play in what sounds like a fun romp with a living legend.

"Jean-Philippe", written by Christophe Turpin and directed by Laurent Tuel is distributd by Mars Distribution. To read the Express article in French, click here. Visit the official site on Mars Distribution.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Check out 2bEntertainment.com, new site in the U.S. that is free to writers for promotional purposes and allows the general public to vote - acts as a filtration system for the industry.