French comicbook character Philemon to film

Demers-Arsenault, Denault to direct live-action adaptation

Roger Frappier of Max Films, Francois Le Bescond and Laurent Duvault from publisher Dargaud are teaming on the production of an English-language feature film based on the adventures of Philemon, a character created by the French comicbook artist Fred.

Julien Demers-Arsenault and Sebastien Denault will direct the feature-length movie.

“Le Train ou vont les choses,” the 16th tome featuring Philemon, will be available as of Feb. 22. The series launched in 1965 and follows the title character, a young farmboy, in an ongoing series of surreal adventures on islands.

The film, a live-action adaptation of the series, will mostly be shot with real actors on locations.

The directors will use computer animation, matte paintings and digital compositing techniques, as well as more traditional on-camera techniques such as miniatures, costumes, special makeup, puppets and animatronics, according to Demers-Arsenault.

“We are going for a look and feel that is more organic than digital, both old-school and contemporary, as if the movie had been shot in the ’70s but with today’s technical means,” Denault said.

Max Films is currently in post-production on “The Grand Seduction,” directed by Don McKellar and starring Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch, Gordon Pinsent, Lianne Balaban and Mark Critch.

Demers-Arsenault is a Canadian director who has worked in digital animation. Denault has worked as a director, scriptwriter and VFX artist and working on the movie adaptation of Hubert Reeves’ “The Universe Explained to my Grandchildren.”

Frappier is repped by manager Peter Meyer. Demers-Arsenault is managed by Trevor Engelson at Underground Management and represented by UTA.

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