According to a report in Variety, Uma Thurman, Captain Phillips’ Barkhad Abdi, and Little White Lies’s Laurent Lafitte have been cast in Persepolis author Marjane Satrapi’s upcoming feature, The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir. They join Bollywood star Dhanush—who will be making his Hollywood debut in the film—Gemma Arterton, Abel Jafri, and Seema Biswas. True Detective’s Alexandra Daddario is also in talks to fill one of the leading parts.
Satrapi, an Iranian-born French graphic novelist and illustrator, is best known for her autobiographical two-part graphic novel, Persepolis, which she also adapted into an Oscar-nominated animated film featuring the voices of Catherine Deneuve and Deneuve’s daughter, Chiara Mastroianni. Satrapi won the Cannes jury prize for Persepolis, as well as Best Film at France’s César Awards. Her second film, Chicken With Plums, debuted in 2011, and Satrapi made her English-language directorial debut in 2014 with The Voices, which stars Ryan Reynolds, Arterton, Jacki Weaver, and Anna Kendrick.
Based on the bestselling novel The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir Who Got Trapped In An Ikea Wardrobe, Satrapi’s latest undertaking marks her second English-language feature and her biggest project to date. The novel, written by Romain Puértolas, has been translated into 35 languages and follows the journey of a con man from his home in India to an IKEA in Paris where he definitely does not find Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing house.
Satrapi’s film will follow a wild storyteller as he travels from New Delhi to Paris; there, he falls in love but accidentally gets deported with a group of African refugees. “It’s a story about love, magic, and adventure and it takes place across three continents,” Satrapi says. “I’m drawn to fantasy stories and I love creating worlds that don’t exist, imagining things in bigger and more beautiful ways,” she adds, noting that she hopes to weave together fantasy and realism with the project by commenting on current global issues. According to Variety, Satrapi emphasized the importance of bringing together a wide range of diverse actors to tell this story. And we all know there’s one thing that connects us all: IKEA.
The Extraordinary Journey starts shooting this summer in Paris, Rome, Jodhpur, and Casablanca.