The cinema world in France is fairly close knit and so it comes as a bit of a surprise that veteran Daniel Auteuil has never worked with Guillaume Canet, a vanguard of the new breed. But that situation has now been rectified as the duo are pairing up for an Olympic equestrian drama “Jappeloup” — and no, you’re reading that wrong.
ScreenDaily reports that Quebecois filmmaker Christian Duguay — whose wild resume ranges from “Scanners III: The Takeover” to “Joan of Arc” with Leelee Sobieski to the Wesley Snipes vehicle “The Art of War” — will take the helm of the project that is near and dear to Canet. The film is based on the true story of French jockey Pierre Durand, who in 1998 nursed a small black horse, the titular Jappeloup, from injury to take the gold medal at the 1998 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Canet, who rode for the junior French National Equestrian team before an injury sidelined him, certainly will have the experience and knowledge to take on the role of Durand; Auteuil will play his father.
Pre-production is already underway with shooting to begin in November in Spain and France. Generally, horse movies aren’t our thing but Canet and Auteuil are too good to ignore so we’ll be curious to see if this can rise above fare like “Secretariat.” The real wild card here is Duguay who doesn’t have much of a directorial stamp, pretty much jumping from TV biopics to B-level (or worse) actioners, but hopefully Canet — no stranger to directing — will influence the shape of the production.
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