Continuing the trend, France's latest comic book character to make a jump from the page to the screen will be Rene Goscinny's Iznogoud.

Patrick Braoude will direct a cast that could include comedian Michael Youn and beloved comic actor Jacques Villeret.

The film will begin shooting in early 2004. Canal Plus graduates Eric and Ramzy could also round out casting. Iznogoud will be produced by Vertigo for M6.

Goscinny, who passed away in 1997, was also the mastermind behind the Asterix and Lucky Luke comic series.

UGC is currently preparing another Goscinny adaptation, The Daltons, on a Euros 27m budget and also starring Eric and Ramzy. Meanwhile, M6 is preparing an animated Asterix following the success of Pathe's two live action films which were among the biggest French box-office hits of all-time

With M6 now prepping Iznogoud, the company seems to have cornered a market on Goscinny's work. Although prolific and powerful producer Claude Berri, who produced the first two Asterix films, had announced a third in the series, rights to the work have been blocked. M6, however, has been granted adaptation rights for Asterix And The Vikings.