Pic to be helmed by Laurent Tirard
Popularly known in France as “Asterix 4,” the movie marks the fourth installment in Gaul’s biggest French-language franchise of the last decade, both at home and abroad.
The movie adapts Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s “Asterix in Britain,” published in 1966, which sees Asterix crossing the channel to help British second-cousin Anticlimax face down Julius Cesar and invading Romans.
Gerard Depardieu, who played Obelix in the first three pics, will reprise the role. Fabrice Luchini (“Potiche”) will play Cesar.
Rolling April, “Asterix et Obelix: God Save Britannia” reunites the creative team behind “Little Nicholas,” the highest-grossing French film in Gaul in 2009.
“Nicholas” director Laurent Tirard will helm; “Asterix”‘s screenplay is by “Nicholas” writers Tirard and Gregoire Vigneron.
It also renews one of the most fertile production-sales/distribution alliances in France: between Wild Bunch and “Nicholas” producers Marc Missonnier and Olivier Delbosc at Paris-based Fidelite Films. Wild Bunch co-produced “Nicholas” and distributed it in France as well as selling it overseas.
Wild Bunch has acquired international rights to many Fidelite films such as John Malkovich-starrer thriller “Afterwards” and Peter Mullan’s drama “Neds.”
Remaining key cast has yet to be announced. But expectations are already running high in Gaul for “Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia.”
The last “Asterix” entry, 2008’s “Asterix at the Olympic Games,” grossed $60.8 million in France. According to French export org Unifrance, “Games” and the second Asterix movie, 2002’s “Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra,” have sold 10.2 million and 9.4 million tix respectively outside France.
With “Asterix,” Wild Bunch will be selling two of the highest-profile French titles of 2011: It has also acquired overseas rights on the mostly-English-language international actioner “The Burma Conspiracy,” written and directed by Jerome Salle (“Largo Winch,” “Anthony Zimmer”) with German-born Tomer Sisley reprising his role from Salle’s “Largo Winch” as the trouble-shooting heir to a billionaire mogul. Sharon Stone co-stars.