West Coast Premiere • Drama, Biopic, Adventure • France, 2016

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 122 min

Directed by: Jérôme Salle

Written by: Jérôme Salle, Laurent Turner

Cinematography: Matias Boucard

Film Editing: Stan Collet

Original Score: Alexandre Desplat

Produced by: Nathalie Gastaldo, Philippe Godeau (Pan-Européenne) Olivier Delbosc (Curiosa Films), Marc Missonnier (Moana Films), TF1 Films Production, Wild Bunch

Cast: Lambert Wilson (Jacques-Yves Cousteau), Pierre Niney (Philippe Cousteau), Audrey Tautou (Simone Melchior Cousteau), Laurent Lucas (Philippe Tailliez), Benjamin Lavernhe (Jean-Michel Cousteau)

International Sales: Wild Bunch


During WWII Naval Commander Jacques Cousteau helped to develop a device that would enable divers to remain underwater for much longer than previously possible. His aqua-lung became a passport to a spectacular undersea world of wonder.  This polished, big-budget biopic dives headlong into that extraordinary world, and charts the adventurous life of its most revered discoverer, a man the French consider a national treasure. Filming documentaries from his nomadic research vessel the Calypso, Cousteau enchanted an entire generation with the mysteries beneath the waves. With his iconic woolen red beanie, Cousteau, convincingly embodied by a slimmed down Lambert Wilson, quickly became a television icon. But a look behind that iconic mask reveals a more complex man whom many saw as deeply flawed. Cousteau scuttled his personal life with a secret second family, and cynically tethered his brand to Big Oil in a narcissistic grab for international fame. Pierre Niney (A Perfect man – COLCOA 2015, Yves Saint-Laurent) smolders as Philippe Cousteau, who hopes to win his father over to the cause of environmental activism.


With his debut feature Anthony Zimmer (2005), and the subsequent The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch (2008), writer/director Jérôme Salle planted his flag in action thriller territory. Many will be familiar with the hit remake of Anthony Zimmer, The Tourist (2010) starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Salle’s crime drama Zulu (2013) starred Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker as mismatched cops hunting a killer in Apartheid South Africa. Salle’s quest to preserve the legend and work of Cousteau has been an adventure in its own right, taking 5 months to film, from the frozen barrens of Antarctica to shark infested tropics. Salle wrote the screenplay with Laurent Turner, who was nominated for the Lumière Award for Best Screenplay for 9 Month Stretch (COLCOA 2014), and based on Capitaine de la Calypso by Calypso captain Albert Falco and Yves Paccalet, and My Father, The Captain: My Life with Jacques Cousteau by Jean-Michel Cousteau.