Emmanuelle: Soft-Corn Reboot Adaptation by ‘Happening’ Director Audrey Diwan

‘Emmanuelle’ Adaptation by ‘Happening’ Director Audrey Diwan

Based on Emmanuelle Arsan’s erotic novel that would spawn a series of hit soft-core films in the 1970s, the project will mark Diwan’s English-language debut.

French soft-core icon Emmanuelle is coming back!

Léa Seydoux is set to play the character in a new film inspired by Emmanuelle Arsan’s erotic novel, with Audrey Diwan, who won the Golden Lion in Venice last year for her abortion drama Happening, set to direct.

Emmanuellelaunched at the 2022 Cannes film market–will mark the English-language debut of Diwan, who developed the script with Rebecca Zlotowski (An Easy Girl).

Wild Bunch and CAA Media Finance will introduce the project to buyers on Wednesday, May 18 in Cannes at a presentation featuring Diwan.

First published in French in 1967, Emmanuelle — which would follow its sexual adventures of the titular character through a series of explicit erotic fantasies — was famously adapted into the 1974 film directed by Just Jaeckin and starring Sylvia Kristel. The film would prove to be hugely popular internationally (and would become Columbia Pictures’ first X-rated release) and lead to a long line of sequels, alongside parodies and low-budget knock-offs (including the Italian series Black Emanuelle, which circumvented copyright issues by altering the spelling).

After winning the top prize in Venice, Happening, adapted from Annie Ernaux’s book recounting her illegal abortion in the 1960s, also landed Diwan a BAFTA nomination. Zlotowski’s credits include the award-winning Belle Epine (Dear Prudence), plus Grand Central and The Summoning. In 2019, she directed her first mini-series, Savages (Les Sauvages), for Canal Plus, co-written and adapted from a novel by Sabri Louatah.

Her fourth film An Easy Girl premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight in 2018 and won the SACD Prize. She is currently in post-production on Other People’s Children.

Seydoux is in Cannes this year with 2 films: Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future and One Fine Morning from Mia Hansen-Love.

Diwan is represented by CAA and Adéquat. Zlotowski is represented by CAA and Film Rights, and Seydoux is represented by Adéquat and UTA.

Adaptation rights for Arsan’s book were acquired by Marion Delord and Reginald de Guillebon’s production company Chantelouve