Assayas on the set of Personal Shopper. (Photo: IFC Films)

We here at The A.V. Club are pretty fond of Olivier Assayas, the French writer-director of Irma Vep, Carlos, Late August, Early September, and many other great movies. But boy would we hate to ever make dinner plans with the guy. The cosmopolitan former film critic has already announced two different projects in the past 12 months—an adaptation of Fernando Morais’ non-fiction book The Last Soldiers Of The Cold War: The Story Of the Cuban Five, about the Cuban spies tried to infiltrate anti-Castro groups in the United States, and a slightly re-cast version of Idol’s Eye, his perpetually stalled, Robert Pattinson-led Chicago mob thriller.

Yet, as Variety reports from the Locarno film festival, where Assayas is presiding over the jury, both of these projects have been tabled in favor of something called E-Book, which will reunite Assayas with Juliette Binoche, with whom he previously worked on Summer Hours and Clouds Of Sils Maria. In fact, Binoche and Assayas go back even further than that; the French icon had her breakthrough as the 21-year-old star of André Téchiné’s Rendez-Vous, which was co-written by a then-unknown Assayas, and the director-star-writer trio of Téchiné, Binoche, and Assayas would subsequently reunite 13 years later for Alice And Martin.


E-Book, which is set in Paris’ publishing industry, is being billed as Assayas’ first straight-up comedy (black comedies like Irma Vep don’t count, apparently), and will co-star Guillaume Canet, Vincent Macaigne, Christa Théret, and Pascal Greggory. The project is being produced in France by Charles Gilibert, Assayas’ regular producer—until, of course, the writer-director decides he feels like doing something else or there’s another chance to get Idol’s Eye financed or he just feels like screwing with Cannes prognosticators. If we had our way, he’d just go an make another movie with Kristen Stewart.