George MacKay (“1917”) is set to headline alongside Lea Seydoux (“Crimes of the Future”) in “The Beast,” a decade-spanning dystopian romance thriller directed by Bertrand Bonello (“Saint Laurent”).
Kinology (“Annette”) is handling international sales on “The Beast,” which will shoot in French and English and will start filming in August.
Taking place between Paris and California, “The Beast” is set in the near future where emotions have become a threat. Seydoux stars as Gabrielle, a woman who has finally decided to purify her DNA in a machine that will immerse her in her past lives and rid her of any strong feelings. But when she meets Louis (Mackay), and feels a powerful connection to him as if she’d known him forever. Late French actor Gaspard Ulliel was previously attached to star in the film.
“The Beast” marks Bonello’s most ambitious project to date. The helmer’s best-known credits include “Tiresa,” “House of Tolerance” and “Saint Laurent,” all of which world-premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Bonello just dipped into science fiction with his latest film, “Coma,” which played at the Berlinale in the Encounters sidebar. The melodrama, which deals with reincarnation and online behavior, won the FIPRESCI nod.
MacKay, who was an EFP Shooting Star in 2014 and the Chopard Trophy for best male revelation at Cannes in 2017, broke through with his performance in as Lance Corporal Schofield in Sam Mendes’s WWI drama “1917.” MacKay also starred in Matt Ross’s “Captain Fantastic,” among other films.
Seydoux, one of France’s biggest stars, is at Cannes with several films, including David Cronenberg’s hotly anticipated competition film “Crimes of the Future” in which she stars opposite Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart. Seydoux is also presenting Mia Hansen-Love’s film “One Fine Morning” at Directors’ Fortnight.
“The Beast” is produced by Justin Taurand (“Diamantino”) at the Paris-based company Les Films du Belier.” Kinology described “The Beast” as a “genre-blending film” reminiscent of movies by David Lynch, David Cronenberg and Henry James.