Earlier this week Variety reported that ‘Ondine‘ is set to start shooting in West Cork, Ireland this July now that financing and main cast have been set. Who’s playing the title character? The girl caught in the fishernet thought to be a mythological sea nymph (Ondine)? Not Marion Cotillard but newcomer Alicja Bachleda.
At the film market during the recent Cannes Film Festival – which to our knowledge Marion did not attend – writer/director Neil Jordan negotiated to direct his new project ‘Ondine‘ with Colin Farrell in the lead role. There’s been no confirmation as of yet that the film is to go ahead as planned but Ireland On-Line has some updates:
A spokeswoman for the Irish Film Board said a deal was close to being struck on the film and confirmed that West Cork was being considered as a possible location for shooting.
Speculation is mounting that the film will be primarily shot in and around Castletownbere and the Beara Peninsula. Jordan is a regular visitor to the region and purchased Waterfall House, three miles outside of Castletownbere, in the late 90s. The Sligo native, who is responsible for such Irish classics as ‘Michael Collins’ and ‘The Butcher Boy’ and international hits ‘Interview with the Vampire’ an ‘The Brave One’ has penned the script for the multimillion euro project.
French actress Marion Cotillard is being lined up to portray the mysterious stranger opposite Farrell in the film. Earlier this year she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in ‘La Vie en Rose’.
The film centres on an Irish fisherman who discovers a woman in his fishing net, whom he thinks is a mermaid, but may in fact be a prostitute.
Castletownbere-based councillor Noel Harrington said the shooting of the film in the area would be great news for the town. “There’s great excitement at the prospect of the film being shot here. Apparently, houses are being scooped up to cater for the film’s crew during the six to eight-week shoot. It’s brilliant news and any support that can be given to the area is very much welcome,” he added.
‘Falling for a Dancer’, in which Colin Farrell made his film début, was also filmed in the area. The new film will be produced by Octagon Films and is being partly financed by the Irish Film Board.
Reasons why this might be true: Marion Cotillard does appear to have free time over the summer with the shoot for ‘Public Enemies‘ soon being over and not having to start work for ‘Nine‘ until Fall. And ‘The Last Flight‘ probably won’t start shooting until early 2009. Also, according to The Hollywood Reporter ‘Ondine’ is a CAA-packaged project and in addition to her French agent Laurent Grégoire Marion does indeed have a CAA agent – her name is Hylda Queally. Still, I have not found proof of Marion’s involvement anywhere else so at this point, this is little more than a rumour.