While Belgian filmmakers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne may not be as known among the American public at large as the likes of Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese or other veteran filmmakers, they're considered by many to be Belgium's finest filmmaking export, having won dozens of European film awards for their distinctive work.
Their most recent film, The Kid with the Bike, won the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, which was preceded by awards for their previous film Lorna's Silence, L'Enfant, which won the Palm D'or, and more prizes dating back to 1999's Rosetta.
It's somewhat shocking that none of their films have received an Oscar nomination in the Foreign Language category even though Belgium has submitted three of the Dardenne's films for consideration. That may change with their next movie which will have a much bigger name attached.
While talking recently to Luc Dardenne, The Film Stage learned that Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard would be headlining the Dardennes' follow-up to The Kid with the Bike called Deux Jours, Une Nuit (Translation: Two Days, One NIght), which they're currently developing.
The film will co-star Belgian actor Fabrizio Rongione, who previously appeared in the filmmaking brothers' films Rosetta and The Kid with the Bike, playing a supporting role as Cotillard's husband. The story involves Cotillard having a "weekend to see colleagues and convince them to give up their bonus so she can keep her job."
Produced by Les Films du Fleuve, it will begin filming this summer in the Wallonie region of Belgium according to their story.
ďWe are looking forward to collaborating with Marion. We are all big fans of each others work," the filmmaker told them.
Meanwhile, The Playlist spoke to Cotillard's Rust & Bone co-star Matthias Schoenaerts, who is also from Belgium, and he revealed to them that he would be appearing in Fox Searchlight's adaptation of Dennis Lehane's Animal Rescue alongside Noomi Rapace and Tom Hardy.
The film is directed by MichaŽl R. Roskam, who previously directed Schoenaerts in the Oscar-nominated Belgian film Bullhead. Roskam's English language debut, which involves a killing that results from a lost pit bull, will reportedly start filming in New York during the spring.