Emmanuelle 2024 with Noémie Merlant: casting, story… What we know about one of the most anticipated films of the year

Expected to be presented at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, “Emmanuelle”, with Noémie Merlant, is one of the most anticipated films of the year. While waiting to know when we will be able to discover it, we take stock of Audrey Diwan’s film.

This film is one of the most anticipated projects of 2024. Surprise! Emmanuelle does not appear – for the moment (additions will be announced soon) – in the official Cannes selection. Perhaps we will see it instead in Venice, at the start of the 2024 school year, for the Mostra?

While waiting to find out more, here is a little update on this film led by Noémie Merlant, in the title role.

What casting?

The title role is played by Noémie Merlant. In addition to Naomi Watts, we now know that Will Sharpe (The White Lotus) will play the male lead role. Jamie Campbell Bower (Stranger Things), Chacha Huang (La Casa de Papel) and Anthony Wong (Infernal Affairs) will also be in the credits.

For the record, there was a casting change for the heroine: the first actress announced was Léa Seydoux.

“Noémie Merlant is a pure artistic choice, an obvious choice like Anamaria Vartolomei was in my previous film (The Event, Editor’s note.)confided Audrey Diwan in Deadline.

And added: “I love Léa Seydoux, I want to make a film with her one day. But for me, it wasn’t the character I imagined. From Portrait of the Girl on Fire to Tár, I never ceased to be seduced by the strength of Noémie Merlant’s acting.

She has the authority and seduction necessary for this role. Noémie redefines the French woman. His attitude, his smile, this hint of insolence… I am also sensitive to the idea of ​​finding an intellectual partner by making this choice, someone with whom I will compose this character. This film will require a huge investment and mutual trust. I know I found the right person“, concludes Audrey Diwan.

What synopsis?

The synopsis is still secret, but Audrey Diwan, who wrote the screenplay, with the collaboration of Rebecca Zlotowski, made it clear that she started from the original book, the sulfurous novel by Emmanuelle Arsan. It is therefore not a direct remake of the film by Just Jaeckin, released in 1974.

We know that it will be a contemporary film whose action will take place in a luxury hotel, in which Emmanuelle’s character works. She there “will explore his quest for pleasure“. It is specified that, unlike the original film, this will not be a quest for “discovery“pleasure, but of a”research” some pleasure.

At the beginning of writing, I often thought of L’Invitation au voyage, by Baudelaire

At the beginning of writing, I often thought of L’Invitation au voyage, by Baudelaire: “there, everything is order and beauty”, can we read in the columns of Télérama. To a place where, precisely, order and beauty would be everywhere like a diktat. Or a certain idea of ​​pleasure. With my co-writer Rebecca Zlotowski, we very freely adapted the novel, keeping the questioning on the quest for pleasure, by reconstructing it around a woman of today.”

The film was shot in Hong Kong and Paris, in English.

What point of view?

For this new “post #MeToo” adaptation, the look that will be given to this heroine should obviously be very different, from 50 years ago, and the version with Sylvia Krystel. How much eroticism will there be? Will carnality be more suggested than filmed? In the columns of Télérama, director Audrey Diwan explained that she wanted to tell “through Emmanuelle’s sensations“. In the columns of Deadlineshe explains that each scene will be like “an exploration“. And added: “Winning the Golden Lion in Venice gave me the freedom to try something quite different and explore. That’s where my motivation for the film came from.

As for Noémie Merlant, here is what she told us a few months before starting filming: “I feel that there is risk taking, but at the same time, I like to take risks. It’s almost what I prefer. (…) From this woman’s point of view, connecting to her desire, to her sexuality, to her fantasies… That interests me. There are risks to take, but very interesting and liberating“, Noémie Merlant told us about Emmanuelle in an interview exactly a year ago.

Noémie Merlant in the foreground

Noémie Merlant has a string of great roles: we saw her in L’Innocent by Louis Garrel, in a lovely comic score (and a César to boot), and in 2023, in a major role alongside Cate Blanchett, in the film American Tár by Todd Field, but also in Les Ameseuses by André Téchiné (video interview above), currently broadcast on Canal+ / myCANAL.

Noémie Merlant talks to us about all these films in the podcast interview below:

Remember that Noémie Merlant has been very noticed since Portrait of the Young Girl on Fire by Céline Sciamma, which earned her an international spotlight.

A first film by Just Jaeckin that has become cult

Prohibited for those under 16 at the time of its release, the original 1974 film followed Emmanuelle, a young woman who lives very liberatedly with her husband Jean. During the trip that takes her to Bangkok to join her husband, Emmanuelle meets two men on the plane and indulges in some fleeting pleasures.

“Emmanuelle, the first sex film to become cult!”

During her stay, she meets two young girls, Marie-Ange and Bee, with whom she has an affair. Jean, for his part, decides to push Emmanuelle into the arms of a perverted sixty-year-old…

Emmanuelle version 1974 had become a real phenomenon in theaters at the time, attracting more than 8.8 million spectators. The release date of this new Emmanuelle Audrey Diwan version is not yet known.

Who is Audrey Diwan?

In 2018, Audrey Diwan directed her first feature film, But You Are Crazy. In this drama, Pio Marmai plays a seemingly uneventful father who turns out to be addicted to cocaine. His life is turned upside down when one of his daughters is taken to the emergency room for being in contact with his drugs…

Audrey Diwan then directed L’Événement, a drama adapted from Annie Ernaux’s novel where a young woman decides to have an abortion to finish her studies and escape the social destiny of her proletarian family. The film is presented at the Venice Film Festival and it is a consecration for the filmmaker since it wins the supreme prize: the Golden Lion. Emmanuelle is his third feature film.

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