Jean-Marie Poire, creator and director of hit French franchise The Visitors, has started pre-production on his next opus, the $23m sci-fi comedy Damian And The Invaders (Damien Et Les Envahisseurs) through his own outfit, London-based sales and post-production company Visual Factory.

Poire is in Cannes to promote his latest film, My Wife Maurice, which he also produced and directed and which is sold here by Visual Factory. My Wife Maurice marks a turning point in the career the French film-maker, a comedy specialist with a strong track record who has previously been partnered with Gaumont for a string of hit comedies, including The Visitors.

This summer, Poire will be producing another title, Young Beautiful And Screwed Up, a $6m teenage comedy featuring Richard Bohringer which he has written but is to be directed by his partner Igor Sekulic. Poire and Sekulic are now ready to step up their involvement in production (including English-language titles) and are currently in talks with potential German and US partners.