With the numbers now all counted up, Michel Gondry's first foray into tentpole studio filmmaking with "The Green Hornet" earlier this year can be called a success. The film, budgeted at $120 million pulled in over $220 million worldwide, more than half of that coming from those increasingly important foreign territories. While we imagine Sony might have wanted a bigger number for their superhero film, for a movie with Seth Rogen in the lead and a virtually unknown (at least on this side of the ocean) Jay Chou in a supporting role they have to be satisfied that the roll of the dice paid off. But the director isn't ready to return to big money filmmaking just yet and has a number of lower key projects on his plate and has just added a seemingly new one with a big actress on board.
Speaking with the New York Times at Cannes where he is serving on the short film jury, the always chatty director revealed that he has a French language film in the works with none other than Audrey Tautou. To convince her, he made a little film requesting her presence which we hope turns up as a DVD extra down the road. “I have a little Bolex camera,” he said. “You crank to rewind it, and you shoot film – 16 millimeter. I’m doing a lot of short film in different subject. When I wanted to convince [Audrey Tautou] to be part of my next project, I did an animation of me asking her with flowers and things, and flying, and sky.” We suppose it's probably hard to say no after receiving something like that.
While the NYT says the film will be in French, what exactly the project is remains to be seen and it won't be happening right away. As long ago as last year, Michel Gondry had planned to make "The We And The I" next and he reconfirmed that he plans to shoot it this summer. The school bus set picture that will feature a roster of kids in the roles, was borne out of meetings with the publishers of “You’ll Like This Film Because You’re In It: The Be Kind Rewind Protocol,” which is about community filmmaking, inspired by Gondry’s film.
He's also got his hand-animated Noam Chomsky doc which he's slowly working on that might be a couple of years away from being completed and a brewing adaptation of Philip K. Dick's "Ubik." This of coure is all on top of the animated project “Megalomania” and ambitious musical “The Return Of The Ice Kids” with Ellen Page attached, though word on both of those has quieted recently.
But a potential team up of Gondry and Tautou sounds like a pretty magical cinematic match, and we eagerly await more details on what they might be cooking up togther.