Mathieu Amalric Joins The Body Artist

Benoît Jacquot adapting Don DeLillo's novel

Mathieu Amalric Joins The Body Artist

by Owen Williams |
Published on

Back in 2013, a film was announced of Don DeLillo's novel The Body Artist. Luca Guadagnino was set to direct a cast including Isabelle Huppert, Denis Lavant, Sigourney Weaver and David Cronenberg in one of his rare acting roles. Sadly that project never came to fruition, but the novel is now on its way back to the screen in a new form. Benoît Jacquot is now the director, and Mathieu Amalric and Jeanne Balibar are set to star.

The Body Artist - a slim 2001 novella following DeLillo's colossal 1997 Underworld - is often described as a ghost story, but is really not quite that. A meditation on perception, time and grief, the book features long passages in which characters make breakfast or stare at webcam footage of empty roads in Finland. It does, however, involve the enigmatic appearance of a young man in an apartment, who may or may not be real. Said mystery figure arrives in the life of Lauren Hartke, after the sudden suicide of her husband.

The body art of the film's title refers to the avant-garde physical performances Lauren practices; no tattoos here. Interestingly, the cast as announced for the previous version was beginning to look more extensive than the actual dramatis personae of the novel, indicating some sort of expansion for the screen. The extent to which this iteration is the same project remains to be seen, but it retains producer Paolo Branco, who was also behind Cronenberg's own DeLillo movie Cosmopolis.

Pre-production on The Body Artist (AKA Son Corps) is underway, with shooting set to start in November in Portugal. It's expected for release sometime next year. DeLillo's novel is published in the UK by Picador.

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