Kurys' TV mini-series Hello Sagan - about legendary French writer François Sagan - into a theatrical feature.
The aim now is to turn the biopic, starring Sylvie Testud, Pierre Palmade and Jeanne Balibar, into this year's answer to last year's runaway box-office hit La Vie En Rose.
The film version of Hello Sagan will be released in France by EuropaCorp in
June. Running alongside the distribution of the theatrical version, the original 2 x 90-minute mini-series will have its own life on France 2 and ARTE. (The
mini-series will be broadcast in late 2008.) International buyers can take
their pick - both the feature film and the TV movie are available.
The Sagan film is one of a number of ambitious new projects on EuropaCorp's
slate. Here at the EFM, company COO and co-founder Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has confirmed that Luc Besson has already completed much of the live action footage of the two sequels to Arthur and Invisibles. Each film is budgeted at around 65 million Euros each. Freddie Highmore and Mia Farrow are again in the cast. Besson and his team are now working on the 3D and animation.
The title of Arthur 2 will be Arthur And The Vengeance Of Maltazard. It is
due for release in France in Christmas 2009. Arthur 3, titled Arthur and the War of Two Worlds, will be released in Christmas 2010. Le Pogam said that EuropaCorp is planning 'to go bigger' on the release and marketing of the sequels than on the original. The EuropaCorp co-founded also suggested that Besson may soon return to live-action direction. 'Give him some time,' Le Pogam said. 'I know he has the energy.'
Here at the EFM, EuropaCorp has been wrapping up sales on Pierre Morel's
Taken, scripted by Besson and starring Luc Besson, the thriller on which it partnered with 20th Century Fox. The French release is set for the end of February. The company is also beginning to talk with buyers about James De Monaco's thriller Staten Island, starring Ethan Hawke. The film will be ready by Cannes. 'We are starting now to sell it. We always wanted to keep the movie finished to show it to potential American distributors because we believe we have a good surprise with the movie,' Le Pogam said.
Other new projects in production from EuropaCorp include I Started From
Scratch (Je Suis Parti De Rien), the latest feature from Xavier Giannoli, who directed Gerard Depardieu vehicle The Singer for EuropaCorp. Depardieu plays a supporting role in the new movie. The main character is played by François Cluzet.
The company is also in production on $37 million animated movie Monster In
Paris, directed by Bibo Bergeron (Bee Movie). The film should be ready by 2009.
Le Pogam played down speculation that EuropaCorp would be interested in
making an alliance with a pan-distribution network like the one outlined by Tarak Ben Ammar earlier this week. 'We like [Ben Ammar] very much and we have a lot of respect for his strategy. Basically, we are deeply European. When we decided to create the company, we wanted absolutely to be sure of our capacity to remain independent,' the EuropaCorp boss commented. He added that the company relished having the freedom to work both with European partners and with such US partners as Fox (with whom it has made Hitman and Taken), Focus-Universal (Unleashed) and Summit (with which it is set to make a film shortly.)