French Genre Outfit Wild West Unveils New Slate Of Film & TV Projects After Buzzy Cannes Debut For ‘Vincent Must Die’

EXCLUSIVE: Wild West, the genre-focused joint venture between French film companies Goodfellas (ex-Wild Bunch International) and Capricci, has unveiled a third slate of projects at a co-financing event in Nantes.

The two-day meeting, running June 22-23, comes hot on the heels of a successful Cannes Critics’ Week world premiere for Stéphan Castang’s thriller Vincent Must Die.

The film, which racked up strong sales and reviews, was on Wild West’s inaugural 2021 slate.

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Goodfellas co-head Vincent Maraval and Capricci CEO Thierry Lounas created Wild West with the aim of developing and producing a pipeline of fast-turnaround, relatively low budget, French-language genre films. 

The initiative grew out of their collaboration on Capricci’s So Film Genre screenwriting residency, which previously developed films such as Just Philippot’s 2020 breakout horror The Swarm.

The six new feature projects include Italian screenwriter and director Giovanni Aloï’s thriller The Golden Rule about a bicycle courier who believes he is caught up in an anti-capitalist plot when Gérard Depardieu dies of poisoning shortly after he delivers a soup to the actor. 

Aloï’s debut film The Third War, about a young soldier racked with paranoia as he patrols the streets of Paris as part of an anti-terrorism unit, screened in Venice’s Horizons sidebar in 2020. 

The slate also features two projects from writer and director Loïc Gaillard: the thriller The Hound and comedy sci-fi D-Days.

In The Hound, a mother bent on revenge hunts her son’s killer in the company of his aggressive American Bulldog. 

Sci-fi comedy D-Days sees a young man travel back in time to June 1944 to witness the Normandy beach landings. In the process, changes the course of history and then tries to rectify his mistake with further trips back in time.

Fantasy thriller The Incurables is set against the backdrop of an isolated medical institution caring for children suffering from a mysterious wasting disease. Far from their parents, the young patients form an intense bond. 

Louise Groult, whose Bien Mignonne has played at numerous short film festivals including Clermont Ferrand and Palm Springs, co-wrote the screenplay with Rémi Mardini. No director has been attached yet. 

Set in a near future, social sci-fi Shut In follows a young couple who think they have found a haven in the massive Eden Résidence until their apartment mysteriously starts shrinking a little bit day by day.

The screenplay, adapted from adapted from Catherine Dufour’s novel Pales Males by Catherine Dufour, is co-written by Janek Tarkowski and Sylvain Lacourt.

Wild West is co-producing with Portrait Robot, the Paris-based company created by Ervin Le Goaziou and Romain Prouveur to produce TV and film projects looking to the future.

Further projects on the slate include Sebastien Gendron’s dark thriller Zeus about petty criminal siblings who accidently steal a suitcase belonging to a powerful mobster, who sets a silent, razor-equipped psychopath on their tail. 

The So Film Genre Screenwriting Residency expanded its remit to include series this year and the Nantes meeting will present four projects to have come out the initiative. 

They are being being co-developed by Wild West and Nouvelles Vagues, the production company founded in 2022 by former CNC and Canal+ execs Julien Neutres and Christophe Witchitz.

Ten-part thriller The Bunker by Anis Rhali revolves around an underprivileged man from the suburbs who ends up in a luxury bunker set up by a wealthy billionaire to escape a deadly virus. He proves himself a gifted leader in a development that challenges the existing social hierarchy.

Social sci-fi Deep In The Night by Charles Habib-Drouot is set against the backdrop of a world turned upside down by a sudden power outage.

The slate also features Cedric Hachard’s Silent Voices about a deaf youngster who develops the ability to “hear” the thoughts of the people around him.

The forth project is eight-part action show Rollercoaster co-written by Sebastien Auger, Emmanuel Lautreamont and Pierre Teulières. 

In sign that Wild West’s pipeline is cranking up, the outfit is gearing up for the shoot of two projects announced in its 2022 slate. 

Aloï’s Le Domaine is due to shoot around the French port city of Saint-Nazaire from end October, with the backing of Netflix. 

It revolves around three youngsters who are hired to scare the owners of a hunting lodge but murder them instead.

Félix Lefebvre (Summer Of 85) and Raphaël Thiéry (Scarlet) will be among the young cast members who also include featuring Rachid Guellaz, Laika Blanc-Francard, Julien de Saint-Jean, Jules Dousset and Fadila Belkebla. 

Previously announced as Dead Man Shoes, Gloaguen’s Prosper stars popular comedian and actor Jean-Pascal Zadi (Simply Black) as an Uber driver who takes on the vengeful persona of a murdered man when he dons his “special shoes”. 

The film is due to shoot in Paris and the Paris region from mid-November with other confirmed cast members including Makita Samba, Steve Tientcheu, Salimata Kamate and Fadily Camara.

Partners include the Ile-de-France and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regional funds Canal +, Ciné + as well as Le Pacte, which will distribute the film and handle international sales. 

Aimed at connecting the projects with potential partners, the Nantes meeting will consist of readings of extracts from the screenplays as well as a screening of Vincent Must Die in the presence of director Castang.

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