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Gerard Depardieu to play Joseph Stalin in new movie

French actor Gerard Depardieu, who is now a Russian citizen, will star as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a forthcoming movie. The film will be directed by French actress and director Fanny Ardant.

The 67-year-old actor, who was granted Russian citizenship by Russian president Vladimir Putin, will feature in a screen adaptation of a novel called "Le Divan de Staline" (Stalin's Sofa) written by French author Jean-Daniel Baltassat.

The book is set in the Soviet Union of the 1950s. It tells the story of a young artist, who is commissioned to create Stalin's monument and has to pass through KGB scrutiny.

"The Hollywood Reporter" said the film will be directed by French actress and director Fanny Ardant. It will be produced by a French-Portuguese company, Leopardo Filmes. The Moscow-based studio Mosfilm will provide costumes and props for the film.

Depardieu, one of France's most successful actors, is best known abroad for the romantic comedy "Green Card." His performances in the movies such as "Cyrano de Bergerac," "Les Miserables" and "Jean de Florette" won him huge praise and accolades.

But he always remained in the news for his critical stance and comments against French government actions. He was given a

Russian passport by a presidential order

in 2013 after he publicly criticized high taxes in France and took up residence abroad.

Depardieu announced a movie about the World War II French fighters who flew alongside Red Air Force pilots over the Eastern Front, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

ap/jil (AFP, The Hollywood Reporter)

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