Asterix eyes ‘Olympic’ bid

Langmann has new script idea, helmer

Asterix the Gaul, star of France’s most successful movie franchise in recent times, is poised to make his big screen comeback.

After two box office smashes — the Alain Chabat helmed “Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra” topped the French box office in 2002 with 14.5 million admissions — rights holders of the original Asterix cartoon books nixed the script for producer Claude Berri’s third Viking-themed installment.

Berri’s producer son Thomas Langmann, who had the initial idea to adapt Asterix, has now come up with a new script, “Asterix at the Olympic Games” and a new director, Frederic Forestier.

Discreet about the “Asterix” project in Cannes, Langmann is waiting for the OK from the rights holders, the artist Uderzo and the descendants of writer Goscinny, before inking a deal with Pathe.

If all goes smoothly, pic could go into production in 2006.

Langmann’s last pic “Blueberry” flopped in France and abroad and his production “Mesrine” lost its star, Vincent Cassel, helmer Barbet Schroeder and coin from UGC. Cassel did say on French television last week that he will play Mesrine, a notorious 1970s French gangster, and Schroeder may also be back on board.

Langmann is also putting the finishing touches to the script of “Cartouche,” based on a real life law-breaker, a French Robin Hood from the 18th century.

In Cannes Langmann’s company La Petite Reine has also made its first foray into distribution, picking up the film “Uno.” La Petite Reine and Haut et Court will distribute the film in France.

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