Morena boards ‘Asterix 4’

Distrib Tripictures nabs all Spanish rights

Spain’s Morena Films has taken a minority equity stake in helmer-scribe Laurent Tirard’s Euro co-production “Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia.”

Morena will enter “Asterix” as a financial co-producer, backed by indie distrib TriPictures, which has picked up all Spanish distribution rights.

The fourth installment in Gaul’s biggest French-language franchise of the last decade is produced by Marc Missonnier and Olivier Delbosc at Paris-based Fidelite Films.

Budgeted at a reported €50 million ($71.5 million), “Asterix’s” 3D shoot runs from April through September in Malta, Hungary and Ireland.

Set in ancient Gaul, pic toplines French comedian Edouard Baer as Asterix and Gerard Depardieu, who reprises his Obelix role of the first three pics in the saga. The cast also includes Catherine Deneuve (the British Queen) and Fabrice Luchini (Caesar).

Penned by Tirard and Gregoire Vigneron, pic broadly adapts Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s “Asterix in Britain” comicbook, published in 1966.”Betting on big European productions allows us to access top-level concepts and projects, which interest all European audiences. ‘Asterix’ is a clear example of that, all the more as it is directed by Tirard and shot in 3D,” said Morena producer Alvaro Longoria.

International and Gallic theatrical and DVD rights are handled by Wild Bunch, which has a close working relationship with both Fidelite and Morena.

Wild Bunch co-produced and took French and international rights to Fidelite’s comedy “Little Nicholas,” the highest-grossing French film in Gaul in 2009.

With Morena and France’s Full House, Wild Bunch has teamed to co-produce omnibus feature film “7 Days in Havana,” which includes a segment helmed by Benicio del Toro.

Tripictures already distributed the first three “Asterix” movies in Spain. It co-produced Frederic Forestier and Thomas Langmann’s “Asterix at the Olympic Games,” which earned a healthy $8.5 million Spanish B.O. in 2008.

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