Palme d’Or-winning actress Léa Seydoux has been cast in fellow French filmmaker Audrey Diwan‘s English-language directorial debut, Emmanuelle. The movie is inspired by author Emmanuelle Arsan’s novel of the same name, and is based on a script Diwan co-developed with An Easy Girl writer, Rebecca Zlotowski, Deadline is reporting.
Arsan’s book follows the titular young woman’s sexual journey from the arms of her husband to intimate encounters with the wives of his business associates. The story also explores the philosophical and aesthetic facets of eroticism.
Adaptation rights for Arsan’s book were acquired by Chantelouve (Marion Delord and Reginald de Guillebon), who are also serving as producers on the film.
Wild Bunch International and CAA Media Finance will introduce the movie to buyers this Wednesday, May 18th, during an exclusive presentation featuring Diwan at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Emmanuelle novel was famously first adapted into the 1974 movie of the same name, which was directed by Just Jaeckin and starred Sylvia Kristel. The film became hugely popular worldwide, and is also known for being Columbia Pictures’ first X-rated release. The movie was followed by several sequels, alongside parodies and low-budget knockoffs.
The upcoming screen adaptation of Emmanuelle comes after Diwan’s second feature, Happening, received the Golden Lion at the 2021 Venice Film Festival. It was also nominated for four César Awards, and won for Most Promising Newcomer for actress Anamaria Vartolomei. The movie was adapted from Annie Ernaux’s timely 2000 novel of the same name, which recounts her illegal abortion in the 1960s.
Diwan’s feature film directorial debut, Losing It, was released in 2019. The drama starred Pio Marmaï and Céline Sallette.
Seydoux will be returning to Cannes this year with two movies that are premiering at the festival: David Cronenberg’s sci-fi horror film, Crimes of the Future, and writer-director Mia Hansen-Love’s drama, One Fine Morning. Her recent credits include No Time to Die and Wes Anderson’s French Dispatch. Seydoux won the Best Actress Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at Cannes, for Blue Is the Warmest Color in 2013.