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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Italy / France

Kirill Serebrennikov’s new effort to be Limonov, The Ballad of Eddie

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- The project, inspired by the best-selling novel by Emmanuel Carrère and toplined by Ben Whishaw, has been announced by Wildside, Chapter 2, Pathé and Vision Distribution

Kirill Serebrennikov’s new effort to be Limonov, The Ballad of Eddie
Ben Whishaw in Limonov, The Ballad of Eddie

Italy’s Wildside and Vision Distribution, along with France’s Chapter 2 and Pathé, have announced the release of the very first image of Limonov, The Ballad of Eddie, Kirill Serebrennikov’s new effort. Serebrennikov’s latest endeavours include Petrov’s Flu [+see also:
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trailer
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]
(which took part in the main competition at last year’s Cannes Film Festival) and the upcoming Tchaikovsky’s Wife [+see also:
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]
, also set to premiere on the Croisette. In March, the director left Russia following the end of his three-year travel ban, and he is now based in Germany.

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Based on the best-selling novel Limonov by Emmanuel Carrère, the script was penned by Pawel Pawlikowski, Ben Hopkins and Serebrennikov himself. The original novel, published in the USA by Macmillan Publishers, was translated for 35 countries and has sold over 2.5 million copies in Europe alone, including 400,000 copies in Italy and more than 700,000 in France.

The story centres on Eduard Limonov, described in the film’s synopsis as “a revolutionary militant, a thug, an underground writer, a butler to a millionaire in Manhattan”, but also “a switchblade-waving poet, a lover of beautiful women, a warmonger, a political agitator and a novelist who wrote of his own greatness”. It promises to be a “life story and a journey through Russia, America and Europe during the second half of the 20th century”.

The lead roles are played by British thesp Ben Whishaw (No Time to Die [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) as Limonov and Russian actress Viktoria Miroshnichenko (Beanpole [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) as his wife, Elena.

Limonov, The Ballad of Eddie is being produced by Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa for Wildside, a Fremantle Company; Dimitri Rassam for Chapter 2, a Mediawan Company; and Ilya Stewart. It is being co-produced by Ardavan Safaee for Pathé, France 3 Cinéma and Vision Distribution. Pawel Pawlikowski will also serve as an executive producer. The feature has been developed with the support of the European Union’s Creative Europe – MEDIA programme. Fremantle is also financing the movie. France Télévisions, Canal+ and Ciné+ are the French broadcasters on board.

Its international sales will be handled by Pathé in collaboration with Vision Distribution, which will share an exclusive promo reel on 17 May during the Marché du Film.

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