PARIS – Popular French actor-director Alain Chabat (“Houba! On the Trail of the Marsupilami”) is teaming with Gaumont for his next directorial effort, “Santa & Cie,” a $28 million family comedy.
Golshifteh Farahani (“Paterson”), Audrey Tautou (“Amelie Poulain”) and Pio Marmai (“The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”) star in the film.
Legende, the outfit behind Marion Cotillard starrer “La vie en rose” is producing the film with Gaumont, which is also handling sales and will be distributing in France on Dec. 6.
The fantasy-filled comedy, which started shooting Tuesday, boasts a strong key crew, notably Bryan Jones, whose credits include “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
The movie follows the journey of Santa Claus when he is forced to travel to Earth to find a cure for his sick elves a few days before Christmas. He comes across a young Parisian family who help him complete his mission, including delivering all the gifts.
Chabat, who will next be seen in Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” has a solid track record as a director. The last film he directed, “Houba! On the Trail of the Marsupilami,” grossed $44.5 million at the French box office and turned out to be the highest-grossing French film of 2012. “Asterix et Obelix: Mission Cleopatra,” which he directed in 2002, was also that year’s top-grossing domestic film.