The $70m+ film has confirmed Gerard Depardieu reprising his role as Obelix.
Wild Bunch will represent the next film in the Asterix franchise, Asterix Chez Les Bretons. The film, which Fidelite Films is producing, will be directed by Laurent Tirard who co-wrote the script with his longtime collaborator Gregoire Vigneron.
Earlier this year, Fidelite won its bid to produce the next film after the rights holders selected Tirard’s Fidelite-backed pitch from amongst other takes offered by the likes of Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp and Thomas Langmann, director and producer of the third Asterix film, Asterix At The Olympic Games.
Although Wild Bunch has a deal in place with Fidelite, it was not a guarantee that the sales company would board the $72m-$79m (Euros 55-60m) project. Rather, the Asterix deal was conducted outside of the Wild Bunch-Fidelite pact with Wild Bunch ultimately securing the global mandate as well as French distribution.
Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval tells Screen the company is “very excited to work with the most beautiful of all French – and European – franchises. We all grew up with Asterix.” Maraval admits to having been disappointed by the previous Asterix films – although each did huge business at home and in Europe, their tone and quality varied – and is keen to give the franchise “a new shine.” Although story details are being kept under wraps, the latest Asterix will combine two of Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s oeuvre. “It’ll be an adventure film and a comedy,” says Maraval.
Among their many collaborations, Wild Bunch and Fidelite recently worked together on Tirard’s Little Nicholas which went on to a stellar career at home and abroad topping 5.8 million admissions in France.
The cast will be announced shortly, although Gerard Depardieu has been confirmed to reprise his role as Obelix and Fabrice Luchini will play Caesar. Tirard is expected to start shooting in April through the end of the summer.