Érik Canuel Dies: Canadian ‘Bon Cop, Bad Cop’ Filmmaker Was 63

Érik Canuel Dies: Canadian ‘Bon Cop, Bad Cop’ Filmmaker Was 63

Quebec filmmaker Érik Canuel, best known for the cult black comedy Bon Cop, Bad Cop, has died. He was 63 years old.

Annexe, a Montreal-based communications firm confirmed the news of Canuel’s death with local press Monday. The director’s cause of death has been reported as complications related to secondary plasma cell leukemia.

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Born in Montreal in 1961, Canuel was the son of two actors, Yvan Canuel and Lucille Papineau. He began his career in the 1980s shooting music videos for artists such as Paul Piché, Sass Jordan, Norman Iceberg, Vilain Pingouin, and Sylvain Cossette.

His first feature film was (The Pig’s Law) La loi du Cochon, a crime drama about two sisters who run a struggling pig farm in rural Quebec and decide to rent part of their land out to a criminal marijuana smuggling ring. The film starred Christian Bégin, Jean-Nicolas Verreault, Stéphane Demers, Christopher Heyerdahl and Marie Brassard.

Canuel’s breakout, however, was 2006’s Bon Cop, Bad Cop. The pic follows two police officers – one Ontarian and one Québécois – who reluctantly join forces to solve a murder. It’s a mixed French and English language production.

“Erik Canuel left an unforgettable mark on the film and television industry both in Quebec and across Canada. His breakout, crossover hit Bon Cop, Bad Cop remains not just a Canadian favorite, but a groundbreaking benchmark in bilingual film,” Warren P. Sonoda, Directors Guild of Canada president, said in a statement on Instagram.

“He was not only an admired artist, a Genie winner, and a multiple DCG Award nominee, but also a warm and enthusiastic collaborator who drew in cast and crew to create an inspiring and empowering environment.”

Canuel’s other credits include 2011’s Barrymore, starring Christopher Plummer, Lac Mystère (2013), and Undercover Grandpa (2017). His TV credits include CTV’s Transplant and Flashpoint and the late ‘90s horror anthology series The Hunger.


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