Mathieu Amalric signs up for Polanski’s Venus in Fur

Mathieu Amalric, probably best known to American audiences for his role as the villain in the derided second Daniel Craig Bond outing Quantum of Solace, has stepped in to take the male lead in Roman Polanski’s long awaited adaptation of Venus in Fur. Polanski had been expected start shooting his adaptation of the 2010 Broadway hit by David Ives in November last year, but delays have meant it is only going before the cameras now. This has also meant that previous lead Louis Garrel, a French actor mainly known for Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, has pulled out.

Polanski’s adaptation of Venus in Fur will be shot in French, and also star his wife Emmanuelle Seigner, who stared alongside Amalric in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The Broadway show revolved around a writer-director of an adaptation of the novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (the origin of the term ‘masochism’) lamenting the inadequacies of all the actresses who showed up that day to audition for the lead character. At the last minute, luckily, a new actress bursts in, exemplifying during her audition every fault he has lambasted: needy, crude, compliant, desperate. Yet over the next 90 minutes, the balance of power shifts as the actress establishes total dominance over the director, exactly as in the novel. Exciting.

No release date has been set for the film as yet, but expect it to enjoy a limited release some time in 2014. Meanwhile, we suggest snuggling up with a bottle of rum, a Polanski box-set, and a few whips and see what happens.

Does the prospect of a film about masochism by Roman Polanski make you want to slap him, or slap yourself? LET US KNOW

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