The Big War: French actor and director Mathieu Kassovitz is set to direct his first movie in over a decade

The star of Amélie and Munich and director of Gothika returns to the director’s chair for a live-action animated film hybrid.

mathieu kassovitz, the big war

Mathieu Kassovitz, whose last film was the 2011 French action-drama Rebellion, is returning behind the camera thirteen years later. According to Deadline, Kassovitz will be taking on a passion project — a film titled The Big War. The Big War will be an English-language film that aims to showcase a hybrid of live-action and animation. The script will reportedly be written by The Nightmare Before ChristmasCorpse Bride and Edward Scissorhands screenwriter Caroline Thompson. Kassovitz explains, “This is a project I’ve been working on for twenty years.”

Kassovitz is also known for working in front of the camera as an actor on projects such as Amélie and Munich and the hit TV series Le Bureau Des Legendes. He expounds on his new upcoming film, “It is inspired by cult French graphic novel La Bete Est Morte, which was written during the Second World War. It reimagines that war as enacted by animals. The Nazis are the wolves who go after the ‘vermin’ — the rabbits — who represent the war’s victims. The story focuses on two rabbits who go after their family who have been taken away and on their journey they discover adventures and more rabbits who join their cause.”

The writer, Caroline Thompson, adds, “It’s a heartfelt, lovely story. We’ve been passing it between ourselves for quite a while. Mathieu is a wonderful person to work with and this has nudged me back into writing.” Kassovitz says, “I’m shooting the movie with real locations and set-pieces and then the animal characters will be dropped in, so I’ll be shooting a movie that will be delivered to the animators.” He, himself, will also be acting in the movie. “We’re now in the design phase and looking for financiers and want to start production by the end of the year. We will have a budget in the $30M range and we’re in discussions with American and British actors whose names I can’t reveal just yet.”

Kassovitz has made two other English-language movies in his career with Gothika and Babylon A.D. In addition to The Big War, he is also working on a stage musical version of his classic 1995 film La Haine, which stars Vincent Cassell, and that production is due to open later this year in Paris.

Source: Deadline

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.