Eva Green is set to star in a new astronaut action-drama from Disorder director and Mustang co-writer Alice Winocour.
Winocour is currently prepping the project, tentatively titled Proxima, for a nine-week shoot beginning in January. Green will be joined by German actor Lars Eidinger (Sils Maria, Sense8). An American co-star is soon to be announced for the bilingual drama.
Green will play an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA) that is preparing to go on a one-year mission to the International Space Station (ISS), but must first face intense training as well as the impending separation from her 7-year-old daughter.
Winocour says the story takes place as Green’s character prepares to depart. “[It] is just before the launch, which is the worst part of the astronaut’s training. Because when they get in space they are ready for everything, but just before is really the hard part — how to say goodbye to your relatives, how to prepare your body for space,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s really about how you put your fears and pain into something bigger than your life.”
“The idea is also to have an astronaut that can be a superheroine and at the same time a mother, because I think in movies mothers are always very weak characters. It’s time that women should assume that you can be an astronaut and a mother too,” she said, speaking at the Deauville Film Festival, where she is on the jury.
Green will be trained by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who completed a six month ISS tour in June alongside American astronaut Peggy Whitson. Pesquet’s return has created a media frenzy in France and boosted public interest in the ESA.
Winocour will be partnering with the ESA to film at their headquarters in Cologne, Germany, as well as the Russian Space Agency to film a launch in Kazakhstan. The director has already traveled to Kazakhstan to view a launch, fueling her passion for the project she has been researching for two years.
The story was inspired in part by the Cesar winner’s own separation from her 7-year-old daughter while shooting and promoting films away from home, she said, as well as her fascination with space. “I thought space is always in science fiction movies, but now it is our reality,” she said of creating a more down-to-earth drama.
Green was cast because she embodies an otherworldliness that Winocour has come to know in astronauts. “I think Eva has this thing that she is here and in another world as well, that she’s not on earth. And I think she’s really sexy too,” said Winocour of the former Bond girl, who also stars in Tim Burton’s upcoming live-action Dumbo. “I think it’s time for her to play in her native language and to act something less gothic, maybe more human.”
She cites James Cameron’s The Abyss as an inspiration for the tone of the film.
The film will be produced by Dharamsala, Winocour’s collaborators on her previous films Augustine and Disorder, and distributed by Pathe.