Marion Cotillard and Robert Zemeckis are both contending for Oscars this fall, the former for her role in Justin Kurzel’s Shakespeare take Macbeth and the latter for his high-wire drama The Walk, but the pair are already looking ahead with plans to team up for another surefire prestige pic. The acclaimed actress (La Vie en Rose) has joined Zemeckis’ untitled period spy thriller, starring alongside Brad Pitt.
Excitingly, the Back to the Future helmer will be working from a script by Steven Knight, who last brought us Tom Hardy vehicle Locke and period gangster series Peaky Blinders (which Hardy also had a part in). The screenwriter has been on the rise for a while, and he’s currently a very in-demand writer for character-driven period fare like this.
Paramount, New Regency and Graham King (through his GK Films banner) are behind the pic, the logline for which is being kept tightly under wraps. The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit says that the plot centers on two assassins who fall in love during a WWII mission to kill a German ambassador. They begin married life, only for the husband (Pitt), a French-Canadian, to be informed that his new wife is a double agent for the Germans and that he must kill her (a classier Mr. & Mrs. Smith riff?). That’s all unconfirmed for now, though.
Cotillard was wanted for the project previously, but it was not expected that the actress would be able to fit it into her schedule, given that she’s starting to shoot Assassin’s Creed with Michael Fassbender this fall. However, Zemeckis is going to be keeping busy with press for The Walk, which opens in October in the middle of awards season, and Pitt is hoping to squeeze in production on military satire War Machine (recently acquired by Netflix in a wave-making maneuver for the streaming service) before this flick. As such, the pair asked the studio if production could be pushed back and, with the added benefit that Cotillard could come aboard, it acquiesced.
Now, production is set to kick off on the film in the first quarter of next year, making it Zemeckis’ next project after The Walk. With the one-two dramatic punch of Pitt and Cotillard, and Zemeckis and Knight behind the camera, this is one powerhouse collaboration that will certainly be staying on everyone’s radar for a long while.