Lead keeps changing for French biopic, finally set?

François Cluzet (Tell No One) is the fourth actor cast in the lead of Le Dernier Pour La Route (literal translation One For The Road), following the successive withdrawals of Daniel Auteuil (The Valet), Dany Boon (Welcome To The Sticks) and Christian Clavier (Just Visiting).

Le Dernier Pour La Route will be the directing debut for producer Philippe Godeau (Largo Winch) and is based on war correspondant Hervé Chabalier’s autobiography. Publisher Robert Laffont says of the book:

A taboo subject—alcoholism—confronted with no concessions by one of the major names in French journalism. Pen in hand (Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Matin) or camera at the ready (he is founder and chairman of the prestigious Capa Agency), Hervé Chabalier has covered all the wars for more than thirty years. For his first book, he has chosen to recount his own war, against alcohol. An intimate account, strong, lucid, and courageous, that strikes to the heart of the matter. It was a daring step for the head of one of the largest television agencies in Europe to take the risk of exposing to daylight, concealing nothing, such a personal experience, so difficult to tell. The dramas of a life, its successes and happy adventures, the combined enchantment and disgust elicited by his insatiable mistress, alcohol, his long defeats, and his victory over himself. With great delicacy of feeling and rare honesty, this account presents an indirect portrait of a true humanist.

The movie will start shooting mid-September and, provided no more cast changes are made, will also star Mélanie Thierry (Babylon A.D.) and Michel Vuillermoz (Atonement).

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Did Jean Reno have a heart attack?

According to reports, 60 year old French actor Jean Reno suffered from a heart attack while vacationing at singer Johnny Hallyday’s home in St Bart’s with his wife Zofia. Reno went on to be airlifted to an ICU in nearby Fort-de-France. Thankfully, Reno was discharged from the hospital at 9 PM last night and is now fine. Reno’s publicist doesn’t seem to think so however, and has denied the incident:

‘He is vacationing in the Caribbean and went to a local hospital as a precaution for some discomfort he was feeling due to heartburn and gastroenteritis.

‘It was definitely was not a heart attack. He is fine and healthy and enjoying the rest of his vacation travelling in the Caribbean.

‘I think he was just enjoying vacation and probably ate a little too much spicy Caribbean food.’

Whatever, we’re just glad he’s OK. Jean Reno (born Juan Moreno), one of France’s most popular actors is probably best known to international audiences for his titular role in Luc Besson’s Léon: The Professional, and through his American movies, which include Mission:Impossible, Godzilla, Ronin, Just Visiting, Rollerball, Hotel Rwanda, The Da Vinci Code, Flyboys and the Pink Panther remake series. Many of his French movies are worth checking out including (but not limited to) The Crimson Rivers, The Visitors and Wasabi.

Fun Fact: Mr Reno and myself attended the same high school!

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