In recent years he's been operating more-or-less below the radar, but Abel Ferrara's possible next project may be his first in some time to attract some mainstream headlines. Ferrara is lining up a drama based on last year's French political sex scandal revolving around former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Gerard Depardieu is circling the key role, with Isabelle Adjani apparently also interested in the project.
Strauss-Kahn was widely expected to throw his hat into the French presidential ring in time for this year's elections until he was accused of a serious sexual assault on a New York hotel chambermaid last May. The charges were eventually dropped in light of conspiracy theories and doubt about the maid's testimony. But Strauss-Kahn still admitted "moral fault" regarding the "encounter", and the case sparked some serious debate about France's gender politics, with half the establishment seeming not to be able to understand what all the fuss was about. One journalist sniffed that it was merely "the skirt-lifting of a domestic".
Ferrara's potential film seems only to be inspired by the case, rather than specifically based upon it, and may also draw on the lives of other scandal-magnet international politicians, such as former American president Bill Clinton and just-out Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Vincent Maraval, producer of Ferrara's recent 4:44 Last Day On Earth, and potentially of the DSK project, says it's very early days yet, but that Ferrara is "writing something inspired by Strauss-Kahn that will focus on addiction and politicians. It’s more that than the Strauss-Kahn scandal itself. If we feel there’s a movie, we’ll go further. We do know that there’s a real common desire amongst Depardieu, Adjani and Ferrara to work together”
Asked about the project by France's Journal Du Dimanche, Depardieu himself was cagey, but did tease that, “In general, I’m very good at playing characters that I don’t like and don’t resemble.”
Christ Zois, who co-wrote Ferrara's The Blackout and New Rose Hotel, is again helping with the screenplay. The apocalyptic 4:44 Last Day On Earth, which stars Willem Dafoe (who was also in New Rose Hotel), is currently out on the festival circuit. Empire's Damon Wise saw it in Venice...