31 oct 2019 AFM: mk2 films Announces New Comedy for 2020

mk2 films boards new comedy THE BIG HIT by writer-director Emmanuel Courcol. The films tells the story of Etienne, an often out-of-work but endearing actor played by Kad Merad, who runs a theater workshop in a prison. He brings together an unlikely troupe of prisoners to stage Samuel Beckett’s famous play Waiting for Godot. When he is allowed to take the colorful band of convicts on a tour outside of prison, Etienne finally has the chance to thrive. Each date is a new success and a unique relationship grows between this ad hoc group of actors and their director. But soon comes the final performance in Paris. Will their last night together be the biggest hit of them all?

This bigger-than-life story is inspired by true events. In 1985, Swedish actor Jan Jönson effectively staged Waiting for Godot with a group of inmates in Sweden. The planned premiere outside the prison, at the Gothenburg City Theatre, had to be cancelled when the participant prisoners escaped. Samuel Beckett himself commented in the news: “That’s the best thing that happened to this play since I wrote it!”. THE BIG HIT is the first retelling of this story and is approved by Jan Jönson. The character of Etienne, played by Kad Merad (known for Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis and César Award Winner for Don’t Worry, I’m Fine) is based on Jönson. The film also stars Marina Hands (César Award for Best Actress in Lady Chatterley) as the prison warden and Laurent Stocker (An Officer and a Spy, César Award Winner for Hunting and Gathering) as Etienne’s best friend.

“We instantly fell in love with this script about a motley group of prisoners and their theatre teacher who set out on the most unlikely of adventures. The true events that the script is based on are clearly quite extraordinary. Emmanuel Courcol does such an excellent job transposing the story to modern day France and conveying how these delinquents overcome their differences and forget about their everyday life in prison. It’s also their ticket to freedom”, says Juliette Schrameck, Managing Director of mk2 films.

Emmanuel Courcol is the writer of French box office sensation In The Name of the Land starring Guillaume Canet and critically-acclaimed Welcome by Philippe Lioret. He wrote THE BIG HIT in collaboration with Thierry de Carbonnières and Khaled Amara. THE BIG HIT is his second feature, after Ceasefire, 2016.

THE BIG HIT is produced by Agat Films and coproduced by actor-director Dany Boon through his company Les Productions du Ch’timi. The film is currently in production, with a delivery in 2020. Memento Films will release the feature in France. mk2 films is handling international sales.

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