Rooney Mara and Adam Driver May Star in Leos Carax’s Musical Film

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Leos Carax’ next film, as reported earlier this year, is an untraditional musical made in collaboration with the band Sparks, in which dialogue is not just filler placed between songs, but rather where music and speech meld. (Yes, sure, perhaps something like Evita). Now, Les Inrockuptibles (a popular French music and film magazine) is reporting that Carax — who most recently directed Holy Motors — is in discussion with Rooney Mara and Adam Driver to star in the project.

Carax certainly isn’t a director known for rushing his creativity (The Film Stage notes a 13 year gap between Holy Motors and Pola X), and he similarly hinted that nothing is happening immediately — but that, indeed, something is happening — when he announced the news of his potential collaborations with Mara and Driver. “It’s coming along, slowly but surely,” he said in (roughly translated) French on November 16, at an event at the Cinémathèque française paying homage to the late Chantal Akerman.

This next project will be his first film in English, and will have a budget of 10 to 12 million euros (approximately $11 million to $13 million). According to the French magazine, the aforementioned actors would play an artist couple: Driver a standup comedian and Mara an opera singer. Caroline Champetier, the cinematographer behind the project (who also shot Holy Motors), said that Carax would like to work with many of the Holy Motors actors again, but that he’s already chosen exactly who he wants for the two lead roles. Meanwhile, the casting director said that Mara and Driver (who Carax had allegedly been talking about since Inside Llewyn Davis) met with Carax in Los Angeles, and expressed interest in doing the film. However, nothing seems official, yet.