×

Gaumont Dives Into Japanese Animation with Mamoru Hosoda’s ‘The Boy and The Beast’ (EXCLUSIVE)

MARRAKECH– Gaumont is venturing into Japanese animation with Mamoru Hosoda’s ambitious new project,”The Boy and The Beast.”

The project is being produced by Studio Chizu and Nippon TV. Gaumont, which will celebrate its 120th anniversary next year, will distribute the film in France and handle international sales.

“Beast” is  a coming-of-age tale about Kyuta, a lonely Japanese boy living in Shibuya and Kumatetsu, a lonesome beast inhabiting Jutengai, an imaginary world. One day, Kyuta forays into the imaginary world and, as he’s looking for his way back, meets Kumatetsu who becomes his guide and friend. That chance encounter leads them to many adventures filled with fantasy and action.

Hosoda, who is regarded as Miyazaki’s disciple and a leading light of Japanese animation, previously directed “Wolf Children”. The movie was a critical and commercial success and traveled to more than 90 countries.  France was the movie’s biggest foreign market in terms of box office.

“France  has  always  been  extremely  sensitive  and receptive to Japanese animated  films in general and to the work of Marmoru Hosoda in particular, especially  after  the public and critical success of ‘Wolf Children,'” said Gaumont’s CEO Sidonie Dumas. “I am thrilled  that Gaumont is associated, in France and internationally, to the latest  work  by  this master of Japanese animation and his partners Studio Chizu and Nippon TV”, said Gaumont’s CEO Sidonie Dumas.

Hosoda, meanwhile, said he discovered “Le grand bleu,” Luc Besson’s film, thanks to Gaumont and is honored that Gaumont has given him the opportunity to work together.

Yohann Comte, Gaumont’s deputy head of sales, said the deal was the “happy conclusion to a year-and-a-half of discussions with the producers of Mamoru Hosada, whose ‘The Boy and the Beast’ (working title) is the most ambitious film.

Gaumont and Studio Chizu will likely partner up on other projects, forging a long-term collaboration similar to the one Wild Bunch has created with Studio Ghibli.

Toho is expected to roll out the film in Japan on July 11; Gaumont is planning a release in late 2015 or early 2016.

Gaumont’s ambition with “Beast” is to reach audiences beyond arthouse moviegoers and enable it to have a successful commercial career outside of festivals’ circuit — following Disney’s strategy with Miyazaki’s “Princesse Mononoké.”

“Beast” marks the second production – after “Wolf Children”–  undertaken by Studio Chizu, which was created in 2011 by Hosoda and Yuichiro Saito.

The production was recently in Morocco to scout for decors. Comte revealed the visual style of the parallel world depicted in “Beast” is greatly inspired by the look of Moroccan flee markets.

This partnership with Studio Chizu illustrates Gaumont’s endeavor to broaden its scope with strong, original projects of different genre and nationalities. In the past, Gaumont was mainly involved in distributing in-house French co-productions; but in the last few years it has ramped up its financing and distribution activities, opened up to third-party projects such as “When Animals Dream” and partnered up with Wild Bunch on Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives” and his latest “The Neon Demon.”

 

More Film

  • New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to

    New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to Los Angeles Studio Role

    Wayne Borg, who has headed the Fox Studios Australia operations in Sydney for the past four years, has been appointed president and general manager of studios at New Fox. He will relocate from Australia to Los Angeles. Fox Studios Australia, which is to remain part of 21st Century Fox and will become part of Disney [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content