Audiard will follow up his award-winning prison drama at this year's Cannes festival with "Rust and Bone," a story about the relationship between an injured killer-whale trainer and a macho security guard at a Sea World-type marine park in France.
"Fifteen weeks shooting, a 9-square-meter cell, no natural light, only men, no women," Audiard said in comparing "A Prophet" to his latest picture. "So I felt a strong desire to do a love story, with sun, with light, with space. A film with women."
Stephanie, the leading lady in "Rust and Bone," is played by Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts plays Ali, a roughneck security guard and single parent who is also an amateur martial-arts brawler.
"Stephanie at the beginning is an arrogant princess," Audiard told the Los Angeles Times. "She has to learn a totally different way of loving and sharing. And Ali, who comes from a very violent background, doesn't know what letting the self go means. It's not part of his vocabulary."
The Times said Saturday "Rust and Bone" maintains the edge Audiard displayed in "A Prophet," which won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 2009. Based on a collection of short stories by Canadian writer Craig Davidson, the film tells the story of how two very different people can learn to link together.