Comic artist and film director Marjane Satrapi has recently revealed her latest project blending her two areas of expertise. Her new film Radioactive will be an adapation of Lauren Redniss’s 2010 experimental graphic novel Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout. As the title implies, the graphic novel and upcoming movie looked at the lives of Marie and Pierre Curie, their love story and their scientific discoveries that ushered in the nuclear age. Redniss’ book was a finalist for the National Book Award at the time and was an eclectic mix of art, reportage, and history.
Marjane Satrapi has been largely absent of the world of comics since the publication of her graphic novels Embroideries and Chicken with Plums back in 2004. She has since focused on film making. Satrapi seems particularly well suited to direct this film, having already adapted her own critically acclaimed graphic novel Persepolis to the big screen in 2007 and Chicken with Plums in 2011. As anyone who has seen her animated film Persepolis can tell, she has a wonderful understanding of the strengths of comics and how they can be transferred to cinema.
Amazon Studio is partnering with Studio Canal to bring the movie to life. Rosamund Pike will play the role of Marie Curie. Satrapi told Variety that “This film is not just a biopic about this exceptional woman. It tells the story of radioactivity from its discovery until today, the humanist approach of the Curie couple with their discovery, the cynicism of some about its use and the effect it has had on our world until today,”. The movie should be out sometime in 2018.
The deal between Amazon and Studio Canal finds Amazon taking on the US (and some international) distribution for the film. Typically in regard to the streaming giant, at least states-side, that means a limited theatrical run and then straight to Prime Video. It’s a pretty great model, and while one typically bemoans the loss of the big screen experience for any kind of visually enticing film like Satrapi’s, it also means more eyes will likely see it outside of the arthouse set.
Jack Thorne is penning the script for Satrapi – best known for his work on the stageplay Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, he was also within spitting distance of some pretty big franchises, having been hired for both Star Wars Episode IX (before being replaced by Chris Terrio and JJ Abrams) and was enlisted to script the never developed Joseph Gordon-Levitt adaptation of The Sandman.
Joining the always excellent and underappreciated Pike are actors like Sam Riley, who is playing Pierre Curie, and Anya Taylor-Joy, cast as their daughter. While Pike has always been a standout in everything she’s been in, Riley has had a more low-key career ever since his breakout in the 2007 Ian Curtis biopic Control. Taylor-Joy is, of course, a superstar in the making having broken through in The Witch, and translated that into superhero work with the next year’s The New Mutants and the upcoming Unbreakable sequel, Glass.
An extremely promising project to have on your watchlist over the next 12 months.