Jacques Tardi adventure-thriller kicks into gear

ANNECY — Studiocanal has confirmed it is to co-produce “Un Monde truque,” inspired by one of Europe’s most celebrated graphic novelists, France’s Jacques Tardi.

A steam-punk adventure-thriller fore-fronting Tardi’s signature graphic style, humor and social criticism, “Monde” is a singular addition to Studiocanal’s family/animation slate, now one of the biggest in Europe. Budget is set at €10.5 million ($13.1 million).

Director-producer Franck Ekinci and Christian Desmares helm “Monde,” working from an original idea by Tardi and co-screenwriter Benjamin Legrand, with Tardi serving as “Monde’s” key graphic artist and art director.

Je Suis Bien Content, co-founded by Ekinci, is co-producing with Studiocanal, which has taken distribution rights to France, the U.K. and Germany, and will sell the rest of the world.

Luc Besson adapted Tardi’s “The Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec” in his 2010 live-action film of the same title. “Monde” is Tardi’s first animation big-screen makeover.

An animation studio and producer, JSBC provided animation on art-film hit “Persepolis.” Desmares co-ordinated “Persepolis” animation.

“A condensation of the world of Jacques Tardi,” according to Ekinci, “Mondo” is set in an alternative 19th-century style 1941, which is still powered by coal and steam. Avril, an intrepid young woman as many Tardi protagonists, sets out to find her scientist parents, who have mysteriously disappeared.

“The idea of this kind of story is to deliver a critique of the world we’re living in now,” Tardi told Variety, calling “Monde” an “entertaining scientific fantasy” based on rigorous documentation.

“Monde” targets wide family audiences, Ekinci added.

A mix of 2D-style CG, 3D for engines and select decors and vfx, with production skedded for the fall, “Monde” will be ready for delivery July 2014, Ekinci said at the Annecy Festival.

Direction will attempt a 1940s narrative style, channeling, distances apart, the classical style of Carol Reed and David Lean, Ekinci said.

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