Over the past few months, movie nerds and trade publications have been throwing darts at the Cannes Film Festival Speculation Board, but one picture that nearly everyone declared as a near certainty was “Blue Is The Warmest Color” director Abdellatif Kechiche‘s “Mektoub Is Mektoub.” The film, an adaptation of “La Blessure, la vraie” by François Bégaudeau, follows a young screenwriter who travels to the Mediterranean and gets involved in a love triangle, went into production last summer, with details being kept secret (in fact, there’s still no word on the cast members). However, the project has grown, but any hopes of getting a look this year at Cannes have been squashed.
French publication Le Point reports (with some translation help from Playlist reader Jerome) that Kechiche has wound up turning “Mektoub Is Mektoub” into a “familial saga” comprised of two films: “Les dés sont jetés” (“The Die Is Cast“) and “Pray for Jack.” The complication is that Kechiche’s contract with the financiers is to deliver one film, so now everyone is headed to court. The director hopes to emerge victorious, and if so, wants to show both pictures at Cannes in 2018.
You might be wondering why a financier would be upset at getting two films, instead of one, but it complicates any pre-sale deals that were made, and certainly makes things more difficult in terms of finding distribution and releasing the companion movies. If Kechiche loses, it’ll be interesting to see what the next step might be. Will he have to recut his footage into a single movie?
Kechiche is certainly not known for being brief. In his career he’s only made one film under two hours (2003’s “Games Of Love And Chance“), and has even said he wants to make a director’s cut of “Blue Is The Warmest Color” that’s 40 minutes longer.
Despite the court dates that await, the filmmaker is keeping busy. He’s already working on two more films, which will apparently shoot this summer: “Lamb Of God” and “Sister Marguerite,” the latter about a poet who is burned at the stake in the 14th century. So, while we’ll have to wait a while longer for Kechiche’s next film(s), when he does return, he’s going to have a lot to offer. As for Cannes, Kechiche’s absence now presumably leaves a big Competition slot for another filmmaker to fill.