Léa Seydoux To Lead New Adaptation Of Erotic Classic Emmanuelle

Palme d'Or winning actor Léa Seydoux is set to star in filmmaker Audrey Diwan's reboot of the cult erotic novel, "Emmanuelle" (via The Hollywood Reporter). 

Initially written in French by Emmanuelle Arsan, the book describes a string of erotic fantasies in various settings while exploring polyamory and bisexuality from the author's lens. French filmmaker Just Jaeckin went on to make a cinematic adaptation of the book in 1974, which went on to garner critical acclaim and spawned a string of sequels and adaptations.

The script for "Emmanuelle" is being developed by Diwan and Rebecca Zlotowski. While Diwan is best known for her film "Happening," Zlotowski's credits include the acclaimed "Belle Epine" and "The Summoning."

Navigating sexual freedom

While the authorship of "Emmanuelle" remains confusing, as both Arsan and her husband claim to have contributed to the erotic novel, the narrative is one that delves into the sexual adventures of a young woman, as the book is deemed semi-autobiographical in nature. While there is much to unpack in terms of the themes of eroticism and its many shades, the book also contains problematic, stereotypical depictions of Asian countries, which the upcoming adaptation will hopefully do away with.

Diwan's second directorial feature, "Happening," received the Golden Lion at the 2021 Venice Film Festival, along with four César Award nominations (and a win for Most Promising Newcomer) and a BAFTA nomination. "Happening" revolves around a young student named Anna, who ends up getting pregnant, which drastically alters her sure-shot path to higher studies, prompting her to seek out an abortion, for which she is shamed by society at large. The cast for Diwan's film includes Anamaria Vartolomei, Kacey Mottet-Klein, and Luana Bajrami.

Seydoux, on the other hand, has a key role in David Cronenberg's "Crimes of the Future," which will be premiering at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. Apart from starring in the futuristic body horror film, Seydoux also stars in Mia Hansen-Love's "One Fine Morning," which will also be premiering at Cannes this year. Her most recent credits are high-grossing films in their own right, including Wes Anderson's "The French Dispatch" and the recent "No Time to Die."

She's also known for roles in "Spectre" and "The Lobster," although the full range of her nuanced performances is displayed in films like Christophe Honoré's "La Belle Personne" and Abdellatif Kechiche's award-winning "Blue is the Warmest Color."

No other actors apart from Seydoux are attached to Diwan's "Emmanuelle" at the moment.