Friedkin walks runway for Chanel biopic

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Coco Chanel is back in style in France, with two Gallic films based on the life of the fashion queen in the works.

Marina Hands, who recently picked up the best actress Cesar for her leading role in "Lady Chatterley," will star in William Friedkin's "Coco & Igor," based on the 2002 book by Chris Greenhalgh.

The book focuses on the love affair between Chanel and avant-garde Russian composer Igor Stravinski. Friedkin, who originally looked to fund it from the U.S., headed to France, where producer Claudie Ossard ("Amelie," "Paris, Je t'aime") embraced the project.

Filming is set to begin in September for a spring 2008 release in French theaters.

Meanwhile, Daniele Thompson, director of "Avenue Montaigne," is planning another project dedicated to the life of the 20th century fashion icon.

The film will be co-written by Thompson's son Christopher and produced by Richard Grandpierre's Eskwad productions with UGC Images. No shooting date has been set. Thompson plans to begin filming her top-secret project "The Code" in early 2008.
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