French comic ‘Billy and Buddy’ heads to bigscreen

Live-action laffer written by 'Sticks' duo

Studiocanal is reteaming with Cyril Colbeau-Justin and Jean-Baptiste Dupont’s production outfit LGM on Belgian comicbook-based “Boule et Bill” (Billy and Buddy), a €20 million ($26.3 million) live-action family comedy.

The 1970s-set pic will topline French thesps Marina Fois (“Polisse”) and Franck Dubosc (“Welcome on Board”) as the parents of a 7-year-old boy and his newly-adopted cocker spaniel, who turns the family life upside down and eventually binds everyone closer together.

Studiocanal will distribute in France and rep the film in international markets.

Pic was penned by Alexandre Charlot and Franck Magnier, the scribe duo behind Dany Boon’s hit “Welcome to the Sticks.”

Lensing is skedded to kick off in the spring.

Created in 1959, “Billy and Buddy” is one of the most popular French-language comic strips ever. More than 25 million copies have been sold worldwide.

“Billy and Buddy” could strike the same chord as 2009’s highest-grossing French film “Little Nicholas,” another period comedy based on a beloved comicbook centering on a child and his parents.

Studiocanal is also working with LGM on “Cloclo,” Florent Emilio Siri’s biopic of French singer and icon Claude Francois. It’s one of the most anticipated Gallic films of 2012.

Studiocanal will release “Cloclo” in France on March 14.

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