A spritz of 'Chanel' for Warners


Warner Bros. has come aboard to produce and distribute the Audrey Tautou-toplined biopic "Coco Before Chanel."

House of Chanel art director Karl Lagerfeld has been hired to supervise re-creations of the legendary designer's attire. Warner Bros. International is joining Haut et Court, Cine-@, Warner Bros. Entertainment France and Films Distribution as a producer on the feature.

Warner Bros., which has been in talks to join other producers on the French-language project for the past few months, plans to release the film domestically. Given the shuttering of its Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures divisions, "Chanel" will be one of the studio's first new tests in handling a specialty release.

Anne Fontaine's adaptation of Edmonde Charles-Roux's biography "L'irreguliere" will focus on Chanel's early years. The four-month shoot will begin Sept. 15 in Paris, with a planned 2009 release.

WBIF is set to release the film in France. Other territories will be handled by WPI and other distributors. (partialdiff)