To me, Audrey Tautou will always be Amélie. To others, soon, she will be Coco. The French actress, who is actually best known now for playing opposite Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code, has been cast as Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel in a film about the legendary fashion designer's life prior to her becoming famous. And because it only focuses on the first half of Chanel's life, producer Caroline Benjo describes it as not really a biopic. Although it will begin with Chanel's childhood, the plot will mainly follow her as a young woman, during the time she worked as a cabaret singer and became involved with the wealthy horse breeder Étienne Balsan and then the English polo player Arthur "Boy" Capel, both of whom were instrumental in leading her to a career in fashion.

Partly based on the book L'Irrégulière: Ou, Mon Itinéraire Chanel by Edmonde Charles-Roux, the film will be scripted by Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liasons) and Anne Fontaine (Nathalie ...), who will also direct. Apparently the project was conceived with Tautou in mind, and Fontaine had said she'd only be involved if the actress was interested. Tautou does seem to be perfect for the part, at least if you only know of Coco Chanel, the woman, from photographs like the one above (If only I could also find photos of the two lovers, so I could imagine which actors would be best to play them).

Fortunately for everyone else associated with the project, Tautou liked the idea of playing Chanel. Although, if the film didn't work out, audiences and fashion fans would still have two other movies based on the designer to look forward to. One, about Chanel's relationship with Igor Stravinsky, will reportedly be directed by William Friedkin and will star Marina Hands (The Barbarian Invasions); the other is being written by Oscar nominee Danièle Thompson (Cousin, Cousine). All three films follow the 1969 stage production Coco, starring Katherine Hepburn in the title role, as well as the new play from writer William Luce and Broadway director Philip William McKinley (The Boy From Oz), titled Creme de Coco: A Portrait of Coco Chanel. So, I'm wondering, which of the films will end up being "Chanel, No. 5"?
categories Cinematical