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Berenice Bejo Joins Indian Star Dhanush in Ken Scott’s ‘Journey’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 2/9/2017 Elsa Keslassy
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Berenice Bejo, the Oscar-nominated actress of “The Artist,” is set to star in “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir,” an adventure-fantasy film directed by “Starbuck” helmer Ken Scott. TF1 Studio is selling the film.

One of the most ambitious English-language titles on the slate of the recently rebranded TF1 Studios, “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir” will also topline Indian star Dhanush, Erin Moriarty, Barkhad Abdi, Laurent Lafitte, and Abel Jafri.

“The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir” was initially set to be directed by “Persepolis” helmer Marjane Satrapi. Scott came on board a few months ago to rework the script and direct the movie, which is scheduled to begin shooting in May in Mumbai, Paris, Brussels, and Rome.

The pic is based on Romain Puértolas’ bestselling debut novel, “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe,” which came out in 2014 and has been translated into 35 languages.

“The book was a huge success. It was sold in 36 countries. It’s a bestseller. There’s many aspects that interested me, there’s obviously comedy, a lot of comedy, some very poetic moments. It’s the story of this magician/thief who grew up in this small neighborhood in Mumbai, India, he sets sail on this journey of self-discovery throughout Europe,” said Scott.

“What’s great is I get to work with a great actor, Dhanush, who is a huge star in India, he’s a great actor, but also a great dancer, a great singer, he has a very unique way of dancing and moving, he’s just very charming,” added Scott.

The film is produced by Luc Bossi and Jaime Mateus-Tique at Brio Films and Vamonos Films. TF1 Studios, La Belle Company, Aleph Motion Pictures, Scope Pictures, and Little Red Car are co-producing. “Extraordinary Journey” has already been picked up by SquareOne in Germany. La Belle Company will release the movie in France.

Sabine Chemaly, who heads international sales at TF1 Studios, said Scott had brought more comedy, adventure, and a more mainstream reach to the movie.

Bossi and Mateus-Tique pointed out “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir” aimed at being the first European movie to gain wide distribution in India. “The film is also a humanistic commentary on the contemporary issues such as the tragedy of migrants in the Mediterranean,” added the producing pair.

Scott is repped by Agence Maxime Vanasse and Jeremy Plager. Moriarty is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment, Abdi is represented by SMS Talent, Béjo is represented by Adequat and Lafitte is represented by UBBA.

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