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French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius has been toiling away on his latest picture The Search, a reported remake of Fred Zinnemann’s 1948 post-war drama, that The Playlist claims is being filmed “in secret” to avoid the white-hot light of media curiosity.
And why might Hazanavicius even have to contend with something like that? Let me help refresh your memory. He directed The Artist, an homage to silent films that actually won the Oscar for Best Picture back in 2011. In doing so, Hazanavicius picked up a Best Director trophy, and helped power the charming picture to three other wins and 10 overall nominations (including Original Screenplay, which Hazanavicius penned, as well).
Here’s a lo-res clip of Hazanavicius accepting his Oscar (because the Academy refuses to let fans embed video):
So it’s understandable why the industry is curious what Hazanavicius is going to do next. Was The Artist a one-off hit that happened to connect to the nostalgia of the older Academy members? Or was it the announcement of a major talent who will be holding our attentions for years to come? Hazanavicius had a following in his native country prior to the artist thanks to the spy spoofs he made with The Artist leading man Jean Dujardin (also an Oscar winner for the silent film). Here are the trailers for OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies and OSS 117: Lost in Rio:
Which brings us to the present. The Playlist confirms that Hazanavicius has been filming in secret since August in the country of Georgia, and soon plans to move his production to Paris. The original story of The Search found a mother and son looking for each other in the years following World War II. But Hazanavicius has shifted the action to present day, in which his wife, The Artist's Best Supporting Actress nominee Berenice Bejo, will be a mother seeking her offspring in Chechnya. PurePeople reported that Annette Bening is part of Hazanavicius’ cast, though details – at the moment – are in short supply.
There’s no release date for The Search just yet. Warner Bros. holds the rights to the movie in France. The Playlist speculates that The Weinstein Company, which handled The Artist, likely will look into The Search, though the movie also might peddle its wares in Cannes in the spring. We’ll see. But the news says the movie is developing, and we’ll likely see it next year.