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Working For The Clampdown: Julie Delpy To Direct Joe Strummer Biopic 'The Right Profile'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist November 21, 2011 at 8:03PM

Julie Delpy's become quite the renaissance woman in recent years. The French actress, discovered by Godard at the age of 14 before going into international stardom in "Europa Europa" and "Three Colors White," has worked principally in U.S. fare in the last decade-and-a-half, in films from "Broken Flowers" to, um, "An American Werewolf in Paris," but it's her behind-the-scenes achievements that are the most impressive.
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Julie Delpy Joe Strummer

Julie Delpy's become quite the renaissance woman in recent years. The French actress, discovered by Godard at the age of 14 before going into international stardom in "Europa Europa" and "Three Colors White," has worked principally in U.S. fare in the last decade-and-a-half, in films from "Broken Flowers" to, um, "An American Werewolf in Paris," but it's her behind-the-scenes achievements that are the most impressive.

She co-wrote the follow-up to U.S. breakthrough "Before Sunrise," "Before Sunset," with Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke, and won an Oscar nomination for her trouble (with a third film potentially in the works, as we revealed this morning), and has since gone on to direct the well-received comedy "2 Days in Paris," which itself will get a sequel, "2 Days In New York," co-starring Chris Rock, next year, as well as the Elizabeth Bathory biopic "The Countess." Delpy, who's always been something of a counter-culture icon, has just landed another directorial gig, and it's potentially her biggest to date, examining as it does one of the true legends of rock'n'roll.

The polymath is, according to Variety, now attached to direct a biopic of Joe Strummer, the late frontman of the greatest band in history (and we will fight anyone who disagrees), The Clash, entitled "The Right Profile," which, of course, is the name of a track off the group's masterpiece "London Calling." The picture will apparently focus on Strummer's disappearance from public life shortly before the release of "Combat Rock," the last album with the group's original line up, in 1982. 

While the trade don't say as much, the presence of producer Simon Halfon ("Sleuth") reveals that the project is the one formerly known as "Joe Public," announced just over a year ago.  'Public' was set up at Film4 with Paul Viragh, who penned the Andy Serkis-starring Ian Dury biopic "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," writing the script, but it's unclear whether Delpy is starting from scratch, or whether Film4 are still involved. 

It's not the only Clash-related project in the works as well; Jez Butterworth, writer of theatrical masterpiece "Jerusalem," is writing an unnamed project based around the making of "London Calling" at Ruby Films ("Tamara Drewe," "Jane Eyre"). Last we heard, that film had surviving band members on board as executive producers, and exclusive rights to the film's music, which would seem to give it a natural advantage, but word's been quiet for nearly a year, so maybe Delpy's appointment (perhaps inspired by the band's track "Julie's Been Working For The Drug Squad"?) will give "The Right Profile" a head start?

This article is related to: Julie Delpy, Joe Strummer, Joe Public, The Right Profile


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