PARIS– French major Gaumont is set to co-produce, distribute and sell “Belle and Sebastien, l’aventure continue,” the sequel to the hit family adventure pic.
Canadian helmer Christian Duguay (“Jappeloup”) will direct the sequel, which brings back together the screenwriters of the original movie, Juliette Sales and Fabien Suarez, and its cast, Félix Bossuet, Tchéky Karyo, Margaux Chatelier and Urbain Cancelier.
Acquired by U.S. distributor Film Movement, the original movie – based on Cecile Aubry’s children’s TV classic — was a box office hit in France, grossing over $23 million. It also sold to most key territories and performed strongly in many markets, including in Italy with Notorious, where it pulled nearly $10 million.
Directed by Nicolas Vanier, the $13 million “Belle and Sebastien” takes place in the French Alps, during WWII, and follows the adventures of a six-year-old motherless boy and his friend, a big white dog, as they thwart Nazi attempts to capture French Resistance fighters.
Set in the aftermath of WWII, in September 1945, the second opus features Sebastien, now 10 years old, as he embarks with beloved dog Belle on an epic journey to find his friend Angelica who disappeared in a plane crash amid the forest above the Alps.
Clement Miserez at Radar Films is again lead-producing the movie. Epithete Films and Gaumont are co-producing. Shooting will take place between Aug. 4 and Oct. 17..
Gaumont will present the project to buyers at Toronto. Several pre-sales have already been inked.