Company develops $17.5 mil toonpic 'Joris Jurgen'
French vidgame, publishing and production house Ankama is developing a toon pic and TV series based on one of its most popular franchises, “Dofus.”The €12 million ($17.5 million), “Livre 1: Joris Jurgen,” follows one of the vidgame’s central characters, Joris, from age 10 to his rise to power as a warrior with super powers. Toon is set in Krosmos, a fantasy-filled mythological world that is the backdrop for Ankama’s two hit franchises, “Dofus” and “Wakfu.” Now in development, “Joris” will be co-directed by Thomas Digard and Ankama CEO and creative director Anthony Roux, who are finalizing the synopsis. Emmanuel Franck, senior VP of film and TV content, said Ankama was prepping a trilogy on “Joris” and is considering shooting the films in French and English. Although the characters, places and objects will come from Ankama videogame worlds, Franck emphasized the company will come up with original stories for every Ankama series and films. “Rather than repeating what’s already in the games, we’re interested in telling people about the origins of characters,” Franck said. Delivery is scheduled for late 2013 or early 2014. Ankama is looking for an international sales company and a French distributor. Shingle is also developing “Kerubin’s Treasure,” a 2D animated series turning on Joris at age 6 and his father, Kerubin, a former explorer who keeps magical objects collected during his adventures. Each episode centers on Kerubin telling his son about an object and an adventure through a flashback. The toon series, which comprises 52 13-minute episodes, has been pre-bought by French pubcaster channel France 3, which already airs Ankama TV skein “Wakfu.” Directed by Roux, Jean-Jacques Denis and Ankama’s Emmanuel Franck, senior VP of film and TV content, “Kerubin’s Treasure” will target kids ages 6 to 12.The company’s execs showed a two-minute teaser at the Annecy Animation Festival. The shingle also announced the development of “Muffin Jack and Jean-Francois,” an animated adventure-comedy skein, which is an entirely original concept. The gag-laden toon series, comprising 52 13-minute episodes, centers on a top secret agent who’s turned into a muffin by a super-villain. Hiding in a bakery shop, the muffin befriends a young employee, and together they fight evil creatures in their town, Pickle City. “Muffin Jack and Jean-Francois” is helmed by Marc Bouyer, Denis Bouyer and Max Loubaresse. Delivery is skedded for spring 2013. Ankama is in talks with French broadcasters.