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Mathieu Kassovitz Out, Gad Elmaleh In For Costa-Gavras’ ‘Le Capital’

Mathieu Kassovitz Out, Gad Elmaleh In For Costa-Gavras' 'Le Capital'

First pegged for Vincent Cassel, then lined up for Mathieu Kassovitz, director Costa-Gavras continues to tinker with his lead for “Le Capital,” and this might be the most intriguing change yet.

French comic acting star Gad Elmaleh — likely best known to U.S. audiences as the detective in “Midnight In Paris” or for Ben Salaad in “The Adventures Of Tintin” — will take the lead in “Le Capital,” joining the long attached Gabriel Byrne. Based on the novel by Stéphane Osmont — with further inspiration from the essay “Total Capitalism” by former Credit Lyonnais president Jean Peyrelevade — the film is a harsh look at the banking system with Elmaleh set to play Marc Tourneuil, the head of Europe’s Phoenix Bank who is facing a hostile takeover from U.S. hedge fund companies, while making a play to acquire a debt-laden Japanese bank. It’s a rare dramatic turn for the actor who is best known for his comedies, and his casting will certainly bring an interesting dimension to the project.

Natacha Regnier, Hyppolyte Girardot, Lyia Kebede and Bernard Lecop round out the cast of ‘Capital,’ which is now up and lensing in Miami, with the production slated to head to New York, Paris and London as well. In scale and scope, this seems to be something quite different from Costa-Gavras’ last few efforts, and with economic woes gripping much of the world, the timeliness couldn’t be better. And of course, with Costa-Gavras — a master at navigating politically charged material — we’re definitely eager to see what he pulls together here. The project currently only has French distribution lined up, but getting other territories sold shouldn’t be an issue. [Variety]

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