EXCLUSIVE: Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Mesrine, Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen) has been tapped as a last-minute addition to Summit’s now-filming Soviet thriller Child 44. The Cesar-winning thesp is replacing previously cast Philip Seymour Hoffman in the pic which has been filming since June under director Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money, Safe House). Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, and Joel Kinnaman also star in the tale of a military cop investigating a series of child murders in 1950s Stalinist Russia, adapted by Oscar-nominated Richard Price from Tom Rob Smith’s bestseller.
Child 44 is the first book in Smith’s trilogy featuring protagonist Leo Stepanovich Demidov, played by Hardy in the pic. Ridley Scott is producing Child 44 for his Scott Free Productions with Michael Schaefer and Greg Shapiro. Pic is co-financed and exec produced by Worldview Entertainment, whose Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, Maria Cestone, Sarah Johnson Redlich are executive producing along with Douglas Urbanski. Lionsgate’s Erik Feig and Jim Miller are overseeing for the studio.
Cassel has also been cast in first timer Ariel Kleiman’s Partisana. He’ll play Gregori, a charismatic and troubled commune leader whose deadly teachings come under scrutiny by 11-year-old protagonist Alexander. Kleiman co-wrote the pic with Sarah Cyngler. Warp Films Australia’s Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw (Snowtown) are producing while Animal Kingdom‘s Frederick Green and David Kaplan are aboard as exec producers. The pic is backed by Screen Australia, Animal Kingdom, Film Victoria and DDP Studios with support from Fulcrum Media Finance and has Aussie distribution via Madman Entertainment. Protagonist is repping international and co-repping North American rights with UTA. Filming is set to begin this October in Australia.
After his turn in Danny Boyle’s Trance this year, Cassel will next be seen in Christophe Gans’ Beauty and the Beast playing the Beast to Lea Seydoux’s Belle. He is repped by CAA and Agence Adequat.