Pascal Chaumeil, French director of 'A Long Way Down,' Dies at 54

Pascal Chaumeil

The director, who also helmed the French hit 'Heartbreaker,' started his career as an assistant under Luc Besson and Regis Wargnier.

French director Pascal Chaumeil died on Thursday in Paris after a battle with cancer. He was 54.

His wife, Camille Chaumeil, made the announcement on Monday, as reported by AFP.

Chaumeil had finished postproduction on his latest film, Un Petit Boulot (A Little Job), a crime drama starring Romain Duris and Michel Blanc. The film will be released in January as planned, his wife said in the announcement.

An established director in France, Chaumeil only just directed his English-language debut, the Nick Hornby adaptation A Long Way Down, starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette and Aaron Paul. The film premiered in Berlin last year.

Chaumeil started his career as an assistant director — working with Regis Wargnier on Je Suis le Seigneur du Chateau (1988) and with Luc Besson on The Professional (1994), The Fifth Element (1997) and The Messenger (1999).

After several television projects and short films, the director helmed his first feature with 2010’s Heartbreaker, starring Duris and Vanessa Paradis, which was a huge hit in France. Heartbreaker earned five Cesar nominations, including in the best film category. He followed up the success with the comedy A Perfect Plan, starring Dany Boon and Diane Kruger, in 2012.

Chaumeil had remained active in television, most recently directing episodes of the Canal Plus English-language series Spotless earlier this year.