The American group Amazon announced Thursday to launch into the production of French films, with a first feature film, The fool’s ball, by actress and director Mélanie Laurent, which will be released on its Prime platform.
The film will be released “exclusively on Prime Video in France and around the world in 2021”, announces the multinational in a press release. It should therefore not be released in theaters, in accordance with the regulations.
This “period film, the setting of which is set at the end of the 19th century”, will be shot in Rochefort (Charente-Maritime). In the casting, Mélanie Laurent will be surrounded by Lou de Laage, Emmanuelle Bercot, Benjamin Voisin, Cédric Khan and Grégoire Bonnet.
It is an adaptation of the novel of the same title, signed Victoria Mas and released in 2019. Another feature film project, also titled The fool’s ball, was also mentioned in June by the specialist magazine Variety, with Arnaud Des Pallières behind the camera and Léa Seydoux in the main role.
The Amazon announcement, which offers itself with Mélanie Laurent a tricolor personality not unknown in Hollywood (with a role in Inglourious Basterds by Quentin Tarentino), shows that the French film industry, brought to its knees by the health crisis, has not finished being shaken up, against a backdrop of the rise of platforms.
“We want to become a showcase for talent in France,” said the creative director for Amazon in Europe, Georgia Brown, quoted in the statement.
Amazon already offered French films but had not yet produced any. He had thus redeemed this summer Brutus vs Caesar, from the comedian Kheiron, who preferred to do without a theatrical release in view of the pandemic context.
The big competitor Netflix is not left out: it has already announced, for 2021 also, the production of a “science fiction comedy” by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Bigbug.