Some know Belgian leading man Matthias Schoenaerts for his turn in Michael Roskam’s 2011 drama Bullhead. Others are learning about him thanks to Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone, where he plays a wandering single father who forms an unlikely bond with a disabled Marion Cotillard. But Schoenaerts might be in line for a higher profile feature if he’s able to land a role opposite Michelle Williams in Suite Francaise.
The UK Daily Mail is reporting that the handsome Rust and Bone co-star is “in final stages of negotiations” to play the leading man opposite Williams in a period romance set in German-occupied France. The story, based on Irene Nemirovsky’s best-selling novel of the same name, will be directed by Saul Dibbs, who made the gorgeous The Duchess with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes.
Williams would play a woman who falls for the German officer (Schoenaerts) who stays at the home of the lady’s mother-in-law. That part reportedly is going to Kristin Scott Thomas, meaning Dibbs is lining up a stellar cast for what could be an extremely impressive production. But as we reported earlier, no one in the cast is willing to commit to the film until a production schedule is locked in, and that hinged on finding the right leading man for the role. If it’s Schoenaerts, then production likely will begin in the spring of 2013, right after Williams is finished promoting Oz: The Great and Powerful for director Sam Raimi and Disney. Stay tuned.
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