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M6, SND prep 3D ‘Asterix’

Duo to launch sales at AFM

By JOHN HOPEWELL and ELSA KESLASSY PARIS
Gallic production-distrib SND is teaming with its parent company, broadcaster the M6 Group, to make the first 3D “Asterix” toon feature, “Asterix: The Land of the Gods.”
SND and M6 will produce and sell “The Land of the Gods” internationally, with SND initiating its pre-sales campaign at Santa Monica’s American Film Market next month.
The producers are in negotiations with Paris-based Mac Guff, which worked on Universal toon “Despicable Me,” to provide animation for the “Asterix” pic.
Gallic hyphenate Alexandre Astier is attached to pen the adaptation, which follows the exploits of a village of ancient Gauls as they resist Roman occupation.
Astier is best known for creating the hit M6 comic skits series “Kaamelott,” an Arthurian legend lampoon.
“Asterix: The Land of the Gods” is a bigscreen makeover of the 17th Asterix book, “The Mansion of the Gods,” written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. It has been translated into 26 languages.
Voiced by Paul Giamatti, Sean Austin and Evan Rachel Wood and released in 2006, the $27 million SND/M6 produced “Asterix and the Vikings” grossed €8.1 million ($11.4 million) in France. International sales included Optimum in the U.K., Universum for Germany and Madman Entertainment in Australia.
Gaul’s Fidelite Films is developing a live-action adaptation of “Asterix chez les Bretons” (Asterix in Britain), which Laurent Tirard will direct. Gerard Depardieu will reprise his role as Obelix in the fourth edition of a franchise that began with 1999’s “Asterix and Obelix Take on Caesar.”

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