Paul Schrader Teases Next Film “Non Compos Mentis’ To Shoot In Fall; Talks Collaboration On ‘Oh, Canada’ With Richard Gere 45 Years After ‘American Gigolo’ – Cannes

Paul Schrader revealed first details about his next feature project entitled Non Compos Mentis during a press conference Saturday for his Cannes Competition title Oh, Canada.

“I’ve written a noir, as a kind of a sexual obsession, called Non Compos Mentis about the stupid things men do for love,” he said.

More from Deadline

The project will reunite him with Oh, Canada producer David Gonzales at Northern Lights, who said the project will shoot this fall.

“David has most money for the next one already and we’re not even cast, we just out to actors right now. So on this one (Oh, Canada) we couldn’t get the money until we were cast, but now we’re getting it before we cast.”

Adapted from Russell Banks’ 2021 novel Foregone, Schrader’s Cannes Palme d’Or contender Oh, Canada stars Richard Gere as a famed, terminally ill documentary maker who reveals secrets from the past in a final interview.

Gere is joined in the cast by Uma Thurman, Michael Imperioli and Jacob Elordi.

Schrader and Gere were in reflective mood today as they discussed this new collaboration, some 45 years after first working together on American Gigolo, while the storyline for Oh, Canada appeared to chime with events in both their lives.

“When we worked together a long time ago, Paul had a very clear idea of what he wanted to do with American Gigolo… He was showing me a lot of Alain Delon films,” recalled Gere. “That was a whole new character for me. I hadn’t played anyone like him, which is why I wanted to do it.”

Schrader chimed in that a key reference had been Delon in 1960 classic Plein Soleil: “I said, ‘He knows one thing for certain, that when he steps into a room, it’s a better place’.”

For the new film, Schrader showed Gere videos of Banks. The writer had been a dear friend, with Schrader previously adapting his work for the 1997 mystery thriller Affliction, starring Nick Nolte and Sissy Spacek.

“45 years later, I think Paul, he’s gotten a little crustier, but he’s earned that. There’s a shorthand at this point. He knows the movie he wants to make, he casts it with the people he wants. He trusts them to do what they do… he was referencing Russell banks quite a bit… he had a lot of videos and photographs of him and his process of getting sick and later, closer to passing away.”

Gere revealed that Schrader’s offer of the role came shortly after the death of his father, who lived with him and his family in the final days of this life.

“He was just a few weeks short of 101… He was in a wheelchair and he was clearly on his last days… the way his mind was coming in and out of many different realities, and many levels of consciousness, I think that’s what I related to very much in the script. And realizing that, of course, we’re all going there,” said the actor.

Priscilla and Saltburn star Elordi, who is currently on set and has not made it to Cannes, plays the protagonist’s younger self. Gere sang the praises of the actor, recalling their first meeting at a script reading.

“He reminded me very much of my son which was great. I could see he was watching me, which is what I would do. He was going to be me younger. He said he’d looked at a few of my early films and was about the same age that he was,” Gere said. “I kind of reassured him, about the accent that I would be using… to keep it really simple and straightforward in terms of American regionalism.

“But to tell you the truth, I just felt he has an incredible warmth to him and a humility about him. He’s genuinely sweet and he works hard… We were never in the same frame together, except once which no one would probably notice, he’s in the mirror of one shot.”

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.