To call the partnership between director Olivier Assayas and actress Kristen Stewart a successful one would be an understatement. Both received overwhelming praise for drama Clouds of Sils Maria, one of the year’s best movies so far, in which Stewart played the personal assistant to an aging actress (Juliette Binoche). The film was particularly successful on the festival circuit, with Stewart becoming the first American actress to win a Cesar and the film earning five other César nominations. Now, Assayas and Stewart are smartly reteaming, for an English-language drama called Personal Shopper.
Described as a “ghost story taking place in the fashion underworld,” Personal Shopper is expected to touch on the same themes of celebrity and aging that Assayas and Stewart explored in Clouds of Sils Maria, with an added “genre/fantasy dimension.”
Despite being made in English, it’s a European production and set in Paris – the last time Assayas tried to make an American film, it was Idol’s Eye, and we all remember how that project fell to pieces at the last possible moment, so it’s obvious why the helmer would be content to stay outside of the Hollywood machine for the foreseeable future.
Production is being eyed for late this year, putting this after an untitled Woody Allen comedy for Stewart, who’s currently filming Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk with Ang Lee. Assayas has a less-packed schedule and will devote the rest of this year to developing Personal Shopper ahead of the shoot.
Though details are sparse right now, the idea of Assayas taking on an out-and-out ghost story is a highly promising one, especially given that Clouds of Sils Maria had a few fascinating otherworldly touches as well. In Stewart, it seems that the director has found a willing muse, and if their future collaborations can conjure the same mesmerizing magic that their last did so ably. Here’s hoping Personal Shopper is the first in a long string of team-ups for the pair.