Though they have been together in real life for 12 years or so and even have two kids together, Johnny Depp and French songbird Vanessa Paradis have never starred in a feature film together – until now (unless, of course, you count Lost in La Mancha, which was just a chronicle of Terry Gilliam’s failure to make the Don Quixote movie in which they would both have appeared.)
The movie that will bring them together on screen will be My American Dream, to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom and be about the French feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (Paradis) and her American lover Nelson Algren (Depp, natch.) Here’s what Depp had to say about the flick (with a different title) to BangShowbiz, (via The Playlist):
“It’s called My American Lover. Vanessa plays the French feminist Simone De Beauvour and I play her lover Nelson Algren, who is real macho.”
Hallstrom has never been one of my favorite directors, pretty much producing nothing but treacle since the first movie he made with Depp, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Here’s hoping their reunion ignites some kind of creative spark inside him. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book this likely will be based on, and to find out what other high profile project Hallstrom has swiped from Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson.
There’s no word yet on just who will write the screenplay for My American Lover, but it will almost certainly draw heavily from “A Transatlantic Love Affair: Letters to Nelson Algren,” a collection of Simone de Beauvoir’s letters to him from the 1940s. Here’s the Amazon.com synopsis of that book:
Simone de Beauvoir met Nelson Algren in Chicago in February 1947, when a mutual friend arranged for him to serve as her tour guide for two days. The attraction was immediate, and within two months they were in love. Because Algren was so alien to de Beauvoir’s world, she spent time describing events and people to him she might otherwise have taken for granted. The result is that de Beauvoir’s 300 surviving letters to Algren are unusually rich in detail–love letters with a conscious undercurrent of French social history. Translated and annotated by Kate Leblanc, they offer amusing insights into postwar Parisian life and characters, delivered with the charm of the nonnative writer.
Certainly sounds like juicy material for Depp and Paradis to dive into, and that’s not the only intriguing project that Hallstrom has just added to his plate. He’s also revealed to the Swedish press that he’s set to step in and replace Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson as the helmer for the transgendered drama The Danish Girl, starring Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Based on the novel by David Ebershoff, the flick is about the first ever sex-change patient, Einar Wegener, a male Danish artist who was married to a fellow Danish artist, Gerda Wegener. With Kidman set to play Einar and Paltrow his wife, this should be nothing but all kinds of controversial fun if Halstrom gets it right.
Alfredson reportedly left over script differences with screenwriter Lucinda Coxon, and the flick already has had Paltrow step in to replace Charlize Theron. Quite a lot of trouble for something that hasn’t even begun shooting yet, but it finally should get underway in May in various locations around Europe, well before Hallstrom really gets started on the Depp/Paradis flick.
Like I said, Hallstrom’s never been one of my favorite directors, but he constantly produces hits (Dear John, anyone?), so here’s hoping he also makes movies we all want to watch with these two projects.