Gagnol, Felicioli reteam on ‘Boy’

Toon feature set up at Folimage

LYON, France — Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, the directorial duo behind “A Cat in Paris,” are re-teaming on a new animated feature, “Phantom Boy.”

Penned like “Cat” by Gagnol, “Boy” is set up at famed French animation house Folimage, the prestige Valence-based producer behind “Mia and the Migoo,” which “Migoo” director Jacques-Remy Girerd founded in 1981.

As on “Cat,” Belgium’s Lunanime will co-produce and has taken Benelux distribution rights, said Lunanime’s Annemie Degryse.

“Never change a winning team,” she said.

Girerd is producing “Boy.” The screenplay is almost finished, Gagnol told Daily Variety.

Budgeted at Euros5.5 million ($7.6 million), “Boy” turns on an 11-year-old hospitalized hero-boy, Leo, who’s capable of flying over the city and passing through walls like a phantom. Leo uses these abilities to aid a wheelchair-bound cop to hunt down the local mob kingpin. However, Leo battles not only evil but his own illness.

Targeting all audiences, “Boy” will be made in a mix of traditional 2D animation on paper and computer painting, and it will use the same graphic style as “Cat,” Gagnol said.

“Boy” shares other similarities with “Cat”: Both feature an unusual crime-fighting duo and a gangster villain, and have comedy.

But, Gagnol said, there are differences too: “‘Phantom Boy’ is a character-driven action-thriller in the tradition of film noir but, unlike ‘A Cat in Paris,’ it has a fantasy element too, and isn’t set on the rooftops of Paris but an unidentified harbor-city.”

“Phantom Boy” will be ready for delivery 2015, Girerd said Thursday at Lyon’s Cartoon Movie meet, presenting for the first time a one-minute trailer of “Boy.”

Released Dec. 15, “Cat” has garnered more than 350,000 admissions in France, repping a B.O. gross of around $3 million. New York-based GKids, a U.S. specialty distributor of independent and foreign animation films, acquired U.S. distribution rights to “Cat” just before the Berlin festival, where “Cat” screened in Generation Kplus.

“Cat” will qualify for the Oscars with a U.S theatrical release in 2011.