It’s been more than 40 years since classic French comedy Les Aventures Du Rabbi Jacob became the No. 1 movie of 1973 — and now it’s getting a sequel. Oscar nominee Danièle Thompson, who wrote the original film with her father Gérard Oury, is teaming with Haut et Court and comics writer Jul to develop follow-up, Rabbi Jacqueline. A release is planned for Christmas 2018.
The first film was a phenomenon, selling 7.3M tickets in France and going on to be a staple of TV reruns. Nominated for a Golden Globe, it starred Louis de Funès as a bigoted businessman who finds himself forced to impersonate a popular rabbi while on the run from a group of assassins and the police. Haut et Court and Thompson’s G Films are producing what they promise to be “a comedy on the contradictions of contemporary society.”
Jump Street Films has added Essie Davis (Assassin’s Creed, Game of Thrones) to the cast of Fred Schepisi’s Andorra. She joins the previously announced ensemble of Guy Pearce, Toni Collette, Gillian Anderson, Clive Owen, Joanna Lumley, Riccardo Scamarcio, Eamon Farren and Vanessa Redgrave. Shooting starts in April in Italy on the adaptation of the novel by Peter Cameron about a bookseller seeking a new life in the tiny titular country, where he becomes involved with a cast of offbeat locals and the suspect in a murder investigation. Celluloid Dreams is handling international sales.
Sky Atlantic has taken UK rights to Swedish-French drama Midnight Sun from Studiocanal. The eight-part thriller, a Canal+/SVT/Filmpool Nord co-production from Atlantique and Nice Drama, will air on Sky Atlantic in early 2017. The series was the top-rated Création Originale launch in three years on Canal+ in France and in Sweden debuted to a 39.7 share and 1.8M viewers on SVT. Created by Bron/Broen’s Mårlind & Stein, the thriller is set in a small mining community where a series of brutal murders conceals a secret conspiracy. Leïla Bekhti and Gustaf Hammarsten star.
The fourth Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, kicked off Wednesday with the opening of Otto Bell’s documentary The Eagle Huntress, which follows a 13-year-old girl as she trains to become the first female in 12 generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter. Fest director and DFI CEO Fatma Al Remaihi kicked off the event by calling attendees to draw on the power of films to drive positive social change. She said, “By instilling an understanding of the world and its realities, through films, we prepare our young people for the future.” This year’s six-day fest welcomes more than 550 young Ajyal jurors from 10 countries and features a program of 70 titles from 33 countries including I, Daniel Blake, The Salesman, Under the Shadow and Fire at Sea. Among its many guests, Meg Ryan will also be in attendance with her directorial debut Ithaca.