Carion, Canet say hello to 'Farewell'


PARIS -- French director Christian Carion and actor Guillaume Canet are back in the holiday spirit after their 2005 hit "Merry Christmas" with a new collaborative effort, "Farewell," a spy thriller based on the eponymous novel by Serguei Kostine.

After "Christmas" nabbed a foreign-language Oscar nomination in 2006 and sold nearly 2 million tickets at the Gallic boxoffice, the actor-director team is heading from World War I to the Cold War for the story of a lieutenant-colonel from the KGB who chose to betray the former USSR for France.

Set in Moscow in 1981, the film is set to start shooting in early 2008. Russian actor Nikita Mikhalkov will co-star opposite Canet in the project co-produced by Christophe Rossignon's Nord-Ouest Prods. with Bertrand Faivre's Le Bureau.

Carion, who co-wrote the script with Eric Raynaud, also is in development on Nord-Ouest's "La Guerre de l'Eau," starring Mathilde Seigner and Danny Boon.