French actress Lea Seydoux has signed on to star in The Story of My Wife, the new film from Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi, whose On Body and Soul won the Golden Bear at last year’s Berlin Film Festival and is a nominee for the best foreign-language film Oscar.
Seydoux, whose credits include Palme d’Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color, Spectre and The Lobster; and Norwegian actor Anders Baasmo Christiansen (Kon-Tiki) will play a married couple in the twisted love story, an adaptation of the novel of the same name from Hungarian poet and writer Milan Fust.
The story, a variation of the legend of the Flying Dutchman set in the 1920s, has sea captain Jacob Storr (Christiansen) who makes a bet in a cafe with a friend that he will marry the first woman who enters the place. In walks Lizzy (Seydoux).
Fust’s novel was first published in Hungary in 1942, but only translated into English in the late 1980s, where it became a literary sensation.
Enyedi will adapt Fust’s novel as well as direct. The project, Enyedi’s first English-language feature, re-teams the director with her On Body and Soul producers Monika Mecs, Andras Muhi and Erno Mesterhazy of Hungary’s Inforg-M&M Film.
Berlin-based Komplizen Film, the producer of Oscar-nominated Toni Erdmann, is on board as co-producer, alongside France’s Pyramide Productions and Italy’s Dorje Film. Komplizen Film joined the project following a meeting between Toni Erdmann director Maren Ade and Enyedi at an awards dinner in Berlin last year. Ade, Jonas Dornbach and Janine Jackowski are producing for Komplizen, with Pyramide’s Francis Boespflug and Stephane Parthenay and Flaminio Zadra of Dorje Film. The film has already received backing from the Hungarian Film Fund.
Shooting on The Story of My Wife is set to begin next year in Paris, Hamburg, Budapest and the South of Italy.
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter’s Feb. 15 daily issue at the Berlin Film Festival.