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Marion Cotillard joins Adam Driver in Annette

Marion Cotillard in Public Enemies

Story by Jack Foley

MARION Cotillard has joined Adam Driver in the cast of Annette, the musical film created and written by the band Sparks (the iconic Los Angeles band comprising brothers Ron and Russell Mael) and directed by Leos Carax.

Originally conceived as a narrative Sparks album, a chance meeting between the brothers and Leos Carax in Cannes in 2013 changed the direction of the project.

Speaking with Magnet in 2017, Russell Mael revealed: “He [Carax] used our song How Are You Getting Home? on Holy Motors and, as a result of that, we met him in Cannes after just finishing what would’ve been our next record, this highly narrative album, Annette.

“He asked to hear it and loved it so much. He said he wanted to direct it as his next film, so Annette suddenly took a different course – it no longer became Sparks’ next album.”

With the original story, music and lyrics by Ron and Russell, they and Leos have spent the past six years developing the project for screen.

Previously described succinctly by Ron as ‘neurotic comedian marries beautiful opera singer – and tragedy ensues’, Annette will start shooting this August.

While Adam Driver has been attached to the film since 2016 in the role of Henry, it has now been confirmed that Cotillard will star as Ann.

Charles Gillibert’s CG Cinema, whose credits include Kristen Stewart-starrer Personal Shopper, is producing the film with Paul-Dominique Vacharasinthu at Tribus P Films.

Internationally acclaimed recording artists Sparks have released 23 creatively bold albums since their debut in 1972. Moving to London from their native Los Angeles in 1974, Sparks released their influential album Kimono My House, which quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, setting the tone for the band’s creative output to follow.

Since that time, Sparks have created a unique musical legacy both on record and in live performances. Their highly visual stage presentations have been viewed throughout the world, including stops in Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival, London’s Royal Festival Hall and the 2011 LA Film Festival.

In 2008, the band performed all 21 of their current albums in their entirety over 21 consecutive nights.

Their 23rd album, Hippopotamus, released in 2017, received 5 star reviews and was ranked on ‘Album Of The Year’ lists worldwide. Sparks have been cited as a major influences on musicians as varied as Jack Antonoff, New Order, The Ramones, Sonic Youth, Duran Duran and Nirvana.

Leos Carax also made a cameo appearance on Sparks’ 2017 album Hippopotamus, performing guest vocals and accordion on the song When You’re A French Director.