Roman Polanski announced Thursday that before making his planned Drefyus affair drama “D.,” he will direct an independently financed French-language adaptation of the David Ives play “Venus in Fur.” He has set Emmanuelle Seigner and Louis Garrel to star and plans a November production start in Paris.
“I’ve been looking for a chance to make a film in French with Emmanuelle for a long time,” said Polanski, who directed Seigner in “Frantic” (1988) and “Bitter Moon” (1992). “Reading ‘Venus in Fur’ I realized the moment had arrived. I got so fired up to put this brilliant black comedy on film that I decided to fit it in before ‘D.,’ whose screenplay and pre-production will demand a few more months.”
“Fur” involves an actress performing a sexually charged audition for a gifted playwright, who has adapted the classic erotic novel “Venus in Fur.” It has played both on and off Broadway, received a Tony nomination for best play and earned star Nina Arianda a Tony for best actress.
Polanski, who last directed an adaptation of the award-winning Yasmina Reza play “God of Carnage,” which Sony Pictures Classics released in 2011, is adapting the “Fur” screenplay with Ives. Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde are producing.
Seigner, who has two children with Polanski, recently starred in Francois Ozon’s “In the House,” which just had its premiere at the Toronto film festival, Dario Argento’s 2009 thriller “Giallo” and Julian Schnabel’s Oscar-nominated 2007 drama “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”
ICM Partners is handling North American rights to the film, while Lionsgate/Summit International is repping international sales.
Polanski’s co-writer on “The Ghost Writer,” Robert Harris, is scripting the “D.” project.