EXCLUSIVE: Andorra, the romantic thriller from Roxanne helmer Fred Schepisi, has added further cast to join the previously-set Clive Owen. Toni Collette, Gillian Anderson, Joanna Lumley and Riccardo Scamarcio have all become attached to the pic that’s based on Peter Cameron’s novel of the same name.
Production is scheduled to start in Italy next April with more cast to be added on what’s shaping up to be an exotic mystery with a host of eccentric characters. Producers are Jamie Bialkower for Melbourne-based Jump Street Films, Schepisi, and Lizzette Atkins. James Ivory is exec producer. Celluloid Dreams has international sales.
Owen plays Alexander Fox, a bookseller who leaves the U.S. after a personal tragedy to begin a new life abroad. The tiny eponymous country he chooses is an idyllic escape, offering the chance to reinvent himself.
He quickly becomes entangled with the ever-present locals. Collette is Mrs Dent, an Australian with a large dog and a volatile secret. Lumley plays Mrs Quay, the kayaking matriarch of an Andorran dynasty who seems to recall Fox from long ago. He finds comfort in the company of her daughter, Miss Quay (Anderson), as the mystery of his origin deepens.
When a woman’s body is found soon after Fox’s arrival, the local lieutenant, Afgroni (Scamarcio) becomes strangely convinced that he is responsible. With his past threatening to envelop his newfound paradise, Fox finds himself in a crisis of conscience and identity, in a foreign country from which he may never be able to escape.
Originally published in 1997, Cameron’s novel was re-issued in 2009. Cameron and Bialkower adapted the book for the screen. Cameron’s 2002 novel, The City Of Your Final Destination, was made into a 2009 film by Merchant Ivory.
Collette has a number of pics on deck; among them, Paramount’s xXx: Return Of Xander Cage; she was recently also set to star in and executive produce ABC action dramedy Unit Zero. She is repped by CAA. X-Files star Anderson will soon be seen in the third season of hit BBC Two drama The Fall and has Starz’ American Gods coming next year. She’s repped by Independent Talent Group and CAA. Lumley is coming off Fox Searchlight’s TV-to-film adaptation, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie which has grossed about $31M in a handful of offshore territories as rollout continues. She’s with Conway van Gelder Grant. Burnt‘s Scamarcio is next up in John Wick: Chapter Two and is repped by France’s Cinéart.
David Nichols from Cineroma is the Italian production partner on Andorra. Behind-the-scenes talent includes Oscar winning production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein (Amadeus, Albert Knobbs, Schepisi’s Words And Pictures). Cinematography is by Ian Baker (Evan Almighty, Roxanne).