Three new titles on UPI's French slate

Including Marion Cotillard comedy 'Living is Better than Dying'

PARIS -- Universal Pictures International and Quad Production will breathe life into French comedy "Living is Better than Dying" starring Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard and national heartthrob Romain Duris, UPI's president of acquisitions and production Christian Grass, UPI France's Stephane Huard and Quad's Nicolas Duval Adassovsky said Wednesday.

Pascal Chaumeil will be back behind the camera again directing Duris after the two paired on recent hit comedy "Heartbreaker" co-starring Vanessa Paradis.

Francois Damiens will round out the cast for the story about a dreamer running from the police who becomes an action hero when he pitches an idea to a Hollywood film producer.

Shooting will kick off in the summer of 2011. UPI France is planning a 2012 release and Gregoire Melin's Kinology is handling international sales.

UPI is hoping the film will be its next "Heartbreaker" after that title, co-produced by UPI and released by UPI France, has sold more than 3.7 million tickets to date, making it one of Gaul's most popular films of the year.

In addition to "Living," UPI has also signed on to co-finance mystery film "Des Vents Contraires," an adaptation of Olivier Adam's best-selling title directed by Jalil Lespert.

The story about a writer who retreats to a coastal town with his children after his wife disappears is produced by Wassim Beji of Wy Productions and will start shooting in January.

UPI is also currently in production on Gilles Legrand's thriller "Tu Seras Mon Fils" produced by Epithete films and starring Niels Arestrup, Lorant Deutsch and Anne Marivin about a vineyard owner in Bordeaux dealing with his family business and strained relations with his father.

"These three new titles on our upcoming French slate give a good sense of the caliber of new and established producing and filmmaking talent we're lucky enough to be working with in France at the moment," Grass said. UPI France will release Illumination Entertainment's "Despicable Me" on Oct. 6.