Lynn Shelton's Humpday, a comedy about two straight guys who agree to film themselves having sex to try to win an amateur porn competition, was such a minor film why would anyone want to remake it – in French?
For no good reason that I can think of, but French actor-director Yvan Attal is shooting a Gallic version in Paris for Les Films du 24 and UGC.
Granted, Shelton's movie won a special jury prize at the Sundance festival and screened in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar of the Cannes fest in 2009, but it bombed in the US, grossing $407,000, and had a very limited release in other territories.
The remake, as yet untitled, is scripted by Attal and Olivier Lecot, and the plot outline seems faithful to the original. It stars François Cluzet as Jeff and Attal as Ben, old friends who get together after their lives had taken them in different directions.
Jeff takes Ben to a party where there's a discussion about an amateur porn festival and the two decide to film themselves having sex, on the premise that this is Art, not gay porn.
“The following day, it is impossible to chicken out. Nothing will stop them, except perhaps Ben's wife, heterosexuality or certain technical issues,” according to the synopsis reported in Cineuropa.
The film also stars Laetitia Casta, Attal's partner Charlotte Gainsbourg, Joey Starr and Italian actress Asia Argento, and the production was co-funded with France 2 Cinéma and Canal Plus.
When Magnolia Pictures sold the remake rights to UGC, its sales chief Laird Adamson boasted, “It was always our intention to bring Humpday to the world not just as an English language film, but to also encourage other producers and distributors to adapt it in their own language.”
As for Shelton, her latest film, Your Sister's Sister, a relationships dramedy starring Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass and Rosemarie DeWitt, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Variety praised the semi-improvised film as a “winning study of relational boundaries crossed and sexual dares gone awry” and a step-up in polish and ambition from Humpday.
The busy Shelton has signed to direct Laggies, the story of a 28-year-old woman who befriends a group of high schoolers while she decides whether or not to accept a marriage proposal, produced by Anonymous Content; and Then We Came to The End, an adaptation of a Joshua Ferris novel about the implosion of the dot-com economy and its devastating impact on a Chicago advertising agency, for producers Ted Hope and Anne Carey.