Cannes: Weinstein Co. Acquires U.S. Rights to Gaumont’s Animated Film ‘Ballerina’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The Weinstein Co. has acquired U.S. rights to Gaumont’s high-profile animated tale “Ballerina,” Variety has learned.

An ambitious $30 million Pixar-style musical in 3D, “Ballerina” is produced by Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou and Laurent Zeitoun of Quad Productions (who previously worked with TWC on the French film “The Intouchables”); Main Journey; and Andre Rouleau and Valerie D’Auteuil of Caramel Film. Gaumont is co-producing, handling international sales and will distribute in France.

Deal marks a reunion between TWC, Quad Films and Gaumont, which previously worked together on Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s Golden-Globe nominated “The Intouchables” — currently being remade by TWC in the U.S..

“Ballerina,” whose voice cast is led by Elle Fanning along with Maggie Ziegler, tells the story of a 11-year old recently orphaned girl, Félicie Milliner (Fanning), who arrives in Paris from Brittany in 1884 with no money, but one big, passionate dream: To become a dancer. With nothing left to lose, Félicie takes a big risk: she “borrows” a spoiled brat’s identity and enters the Opera Ballet School, where she meets the inventive, exhausting and charismatic Victor, who becomes her friend and soul mate.

Directed by Eric Summer and Eric Warin, the toonpic is currently in production in Montreal.

The script is written by Carole Noble and Laurent Zeitoun. The film’s choreography is being overseen by Aurelie Dupont who relied on motion capture for some of the performances.

“So many little girls dream at some point of becoming a ballerina. This film beautifully pairs that dream of dance with the artistry of animation. It’s a thrill to be teaming up once again with Nicolas, Yann and Laurent on ‘Ballerina,’ who bring a quality of elegance to all of their projects,” said TWC’s co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein.

Eric Summer and Eric Warin said they couldn’t “think of a better home than TWC to bring ‘Ballerina’ to U.S. moviegoers.”

The movie, which opens abroad later this year, could be released with a different title in the United States.

The Weinstein Company negotiated the deal with WME Global and Gaumont on behalf of the producers.

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