Don McKellar to helm La Grande Séduction remake
English-language version of award-winning 2003 Quebec comedy
Canadian filmmaker and actor Don McKellar will take over directing duties on an English-language remake of La Grande Séduction, producers of the Quebec hit announced on Wednesday.
The Toronto-based McKellar has been enlisted because writer-director Ken Scott — originally enlisted for the English revamp — is shifting gears to a U.S. remake of his recent, award-winning French-language comedy smash Starbuck.
"In situations of emergency, we have to find exceptional answers and, for me, Don McKellar is an exceptional filmmaker," producer Roger Frappier said in a statement.
"With the pedigree of the project and the rock solid script, it didn't take much of a seduction to get me on board....I'm looking forward to a very exciting and productive summer."
In addition to his film acting, writing and directing credits (Childstar, Last Night, The Red Violin, 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould, Blindness), McKellar is also a noted playwright who won a Tony Award for his work on the musical The Drowsy Chaperone.
The production will shoot, as planned, in Newfoundland and Labrador.
La Grande Séduction (alternately called Seducing Dr. Lewis) debuted in 2003. With a script by Scott and direction by Jean-François Pouliot, the original comedy followed a big-city doctor who turns up in a remote fishing village, where the inhabitants' stage a campaign to have him settle permanently in the community.
After it won several awards, including an audience prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, the film's producers were approached by international partners about the possibility of remaking the tale.
Along with the forthcoming English-language version, remakes by production companies in Italy and France were given the green light in 2011.