It's been awhile since we last posted anything about Sylvain White; he's one of those few black directors who's been able to navigate the studio system, although, like most of his contemporaries, while his name has been attached to a few projects, not consistently enough.
His last feature film outing was The Losers in 2010, which, unfortunately, didn't do all that well at the box office, making just over $23 million stateside on a $25 million budget. By comparison, Stomp The Yard, which he directed before The Losers, made over $61 million on a $13 million budget.
As recently as early 2011, he was attached to helm Frank Milller's Ronin and the King Arthur legend Pendragon, and was to produce writer-director Julien Magnat's psychological thriller Faces in the Crowd. No movement on either of the 1st 2; Faces In The Crowd was a straight-to-DVD project after playing the film festival circuit.
There was also an adaptation of Castlevania, which he was once in the running to direct, as well as a live action adaptation of the animated sci-fi series Robotech. Nothing came of those two projects.
Since The Losers, he's directed 1 episode of Hawaii Five-0, and 1 episode of CSI: Miami.
However, without much action coming his way here in the USA, as we told you a year ago, Sylvain White went back to the country in which he was born and raised, France (his mother is French), where he has been working on what will be his next feature film project – an adaptation of French author Jean-Christophe Grangé’s thriller Miserere.
Here's a description of the project which is now titled The Mark of the Angels – Miserere:
Paris. A choir master is found mysteriously murdered in a church, his eardrums blown out. Investigating is homicide Police Commander LIONEL KASDAN, just-retired but desperate to come back to action. Kasdan teams with Interpol Captain FRANK SALEK, a short-tempered younger cop. Together, they try to uncover the secrets of an international organization and crack this unusual case, leading to the captain’s childhood and a dark secret from his past.
It's said to be quite dark and macabre, and one of author Jean-Christophe's best and most disturbing thrillers, that combines children, torture, human scientific experiments and much more.
So who's starring in Sylvain White's adaptation? Gérard Depardieu is the veteran cop, and French rapper-turned-actor Joeystarr is the short-tempered younger cop.
It was announced today that Pathé International will screen previews of the fim, which is currently in post-production, for distributors at the European Film Market at the 63rd Berlinale early next month.
Thierry Lhermitte, Belgian actress Helena Noguerra, and Swiss actress Marthe Keller round out what appears to be a rather strong cast.
Produced by Stéphane Sperry for Liaison Films, the all-French production of Miserere has a €15m budget (or about $20 million), with backing from Pathé Films, as well as pre-sales by Canal + and Ciné+.
The film was shot mostly in Paris, and a few locations in Belgium as well.
It's good to see Sylvain getting behind the camera for another feature film again. Whether this'll travel stateside is another story.
I'm looking forward to seeing some footage from it, and hope that the promo being screened for distributors at the Berlinale will eventually make its way to the web.