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Exclusive: Jacques Audiard Says English-Language Western Might Be Next, Wants James Murphy To Write Songs For Musical Project

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by Oliver Lyttelton
October 12, 2012 12:57 PM
2 Comments
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The emergence of French filmmaker Jacques Audiard on the world scene has been one of the great cinematic pleasures of the last decade or so. Although he's been in the business for years (winning the Cesar for best debut for 1994's "See How They Fall"), it was 2005's excellent "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" that really brought him to the attention of world audiences.

Four years later, "A Prophet" won him even more fans -- along with the Grand Prix at Cannes and an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film -- and the praise has continued with the Marion Cotillard-starring "Rust and Bone," which premiered on the Croisette earlier in the year. The film marks something of a break from the crime genre feel of his three previous projects, and after speaking to the filmmaker and his co-writer Thomas Bidegain today ahead of the BFI London Film Festival premiere of "Rust and Bone," it looks like he's going to continue to mix it up.

We asked the pair if they'd settled on what their next project might be, and Bidegain replied, "We've found several things. Having several projects is like having none, when you have three, you don't have one." Audiard added: "We have a musical, and we have a western." Bidegain suggested that the musical is something that's brewing for some time saying, "We've been nourishing that idea for a while. Even in the time we were writing 'Rust And Bone,' we stopped at one point and worked on the musical."

At the time, they hit something of a roadblock, with Audiard saying, "We didn't succeed. What comes first, the music, the lyrics? I never wrote lyrics?" But it seems like they've pinpointed someone they'd like to collaborate with on the project. When we asked if they had anyone in mind for the music, Audiard replied "[James] Murphy, the guy from LCD Soundsystem. But he doesn't know, it's just a hope. We would love that, and he's a great guy. Maybe he has free time now?" Certainly he might, what with LCD Soundsystem having disbanded last year.

Earlier in the year, Audiard told the LA Times "I really feel like making a musical comedy about weapons and the drug traffic. I was very struck by hearing that each of the drug cartels in Colombia has their own band and their own song writers to write music about them." It wasn't clear if that was the same project, but it seems fairly likely that it would be. Fingers crossed that the pair can get Murphy on board, because that sounds like a dream collaboration to us.

As for the other potential project, the western, the filmmaker says that the project would mark his English-language debut. "When you do a western, it has to be in English," but stayed mum on further details. Still, the prospect of the director and his writing partner tackling either genre is an exciting one, and we hope that both find their way to screens before too long. Keep your eyes peeled for more from our interview with Audiard and Bidegain in the near future, and you can catch "Rust and Bone" in theaters from November 23rd in the U.S. and November 2nd in the U.K.

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2 Comments

  • JO | October 12, 2012 3:35 PMReply

    Hell yeah! A western by Audiard, that could quickly become a phenomenon. Honestly about his idea of a musicale, honestly I don't know what to think about it! It's like if Martin Scorsese or James Gray wanted to do one. They are very respected in certain genre but...I mean Really a Musicale? I'm between the "WTF?" and "that's take balls!".

  • Mika | October 12, 2012 3:30 PMReply

    I think he is an amazing author/director! He has an unique way of capturing emotions and he is a master of dark, brutal but real things. A western in English would simply become my most anticipated movie EVER! I'm really serious, I think he could give us one of the best western ever made. And he has a gift when it comes to casting choices so we could expect nothing less than a brutal, sexual, dark, and passionate movie.

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