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PRODUCTION France

Comedy and espionage come together in Ludovic Colbeau-Justin’s The Lion

by 

- Dany Boon and Philippe Katerine topline the filmmaker’s second feature, which is currently being shot; the Monkey Pack Films production is being sold overseas by TF1 Studio

Comedy and espionage come together in Ludovic Colbeau-Justin’s The Lion
Actors Dany Boon and Philippe Katerine

Ludovic Colbeau-Justin has been in Paris and the Paris region since 11 February shooting The Lion, his second feature, following Stand-up Girl! [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nawell Madani
film profile
]
 (co-directed with Nawell Madani – 693,000 admissions in France in late 2017). Toplining this first solo effort by the director, who cut his teeth as a cinematographer (in particular on Rolling to You [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), are the immensely popular Dany Boon (who is always a sure-fire hit at the box office, from Welcome to the Sticks [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
to La Ch’tite famille [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, via Penny Pincher! [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 and Superchondriac [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, and who will be gracing screens from 25 September on in Le Dindon) and Philippe Katerine (César Award for Best Supporting Actor this year for Sink or Swim [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, popular in recent titles such as Gaz de France [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
We Need Your Vote [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 and Bright Sunshine In [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
; and who acted in Wonders in the Suburbs [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Jeanne Balibar and Notre Dame [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Valérie Donzelli last year). Also featuring among the cast are Anne Serra (seen in K.O. [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 and The Squad [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Samuel Jouy (giving a great performance in French Blood [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, currently on the cinema listings in Rebels [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and Sophie Verbeeck (nominated for the Lumières Award for Best New Actress in 2016 for All About Them [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 and also popular in A Paris Education [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean-Paul Civeyrac
film profile
]
).

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

The story, written by Alexandre Coquelle and Mathieu Le Nahour, revolves around Romain Martin (Katerine), a psychologist fascinated by his patient Léo Milan (Boon), who claims to be a highly trained international spy, code-named “The Lion”, an agent who specialises in recovering hostages and who belongs to a vast espionage network called Constellation. Romain is in no doubt that Léo is a compulsive liar, even though his supposed adventures are by no means mundane. When Romain's fiancée, Louise, is kidnapped, just as The Lion had predicted, Romain realises that Léo is the only one who seems to know what's going on and the only one who has the skills to rescue her. Desperate, Romain embarks on a frantic chase across Paris with The Lion to rescue Louise and protect France's central bank from the heist of the century. 

Produced by Jean-Yves Robin for Monkey Pack FilmsThe Lion is being co-produced by TF1 Films Productions and TF1 Studio (which is in charge of the international sales). Having also been pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+, the feature will be shot for a total of 11 weeks in Paris and the Paris region, with a few additional shooting days scheduled in Dubai. The French distribution will be overseen by Mars Films from 5 February 2020.

Monkey Pack Films recently produced Sympathy for the Devil by Guillaume de Fontenay (currently in post-production; see the article), Team Spirit [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Vianney Lebasque (which was the opening film of the Piazza Grande at Locarno last year) and Revenge [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Coralie Fargeat
film profile
]
 by Coralie Fargeat.

(Translated from French)

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