You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Studiocanal Revs Up Production, Including Idris Elba’s Directorial Debut (EXCLUSIVE)

Studiocanal, already Europe’s biggest film and TV producer and distributor, is doubling down on production.

With projects like Idris Elba’s directorial debut “Yardie,” a new adaptation of children’s classic “The Secret Garden” and a film about Queen Elizabeth II’s beloved corgis, the studio expects to have 10 or 11 international English-language movies in production this year, CEO Didier Lupfer told Variety.

The Vivendi-owned powerhouse also plans to produce 40 movies out of France, Germany and Britain by 2018, and 180 hours of TV in 2020, up from the 60 hours that it produced or distributed last year.

“Over the past 18 months, there was a focus on a wave of development. We are going to start seeing the fruits of that right now,” said Ron Halpern, Studiocanal’s executive vice president of international production and acquisitions. He cited the Liam Neeson thriller “Hard Powder” and the new “Radioactive” project, in which Rosamund Pike has just been cast as Marie Curie.

“Royal Dogs: Corgis of the Queen” is an adaptation of “Titus Rules OK,” an illustrated book that tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite corgi pup. The book was written by the late Dick King-Smith, author of “The Sheep-pig,” the basis for the movie “Babe.”

“Royal Dogs” will be a live-action movie with actors but animated dogs, Lupfer said. The screenplay is being written by Mark Burton, whose credits include “Madagascar,” “Gnomeo & Juliet” and “Shaun the Sheep Movie.”

Studiocanal also has two projects in development with British romance novelist Jojo Moyes: movie adaptations of her novel “The Last Letter From Your Lover,” a double love story spanning 40 years, and her humor-laced short story “Paris for One,” about a shy young woman’s solo trip in Paris.

Building on their “Paddington” partnership, Studiocanal and producer David Heyman (“Harry Potter,” “Gravity”) are developing family-friendly fantasy film “The Secret Garden,” from a Jack Thorne adaptation of the classic Edwardian children’s novel.

Elba is making his directorial debut with 1980s cocaine thriller “Yardie” for Warp and Studiocanal U.K. Postwar romantic drama “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” with Lily James, is currently shooting. And production has begun on TV movie “The Child in Time,” produced by and starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Lupfer also unveiled “Balloon,” a German co-production based on the true story of a daring airborne escape from East Germany to the West. “Especially after ‘Heidi,’ which sold 750,000 tickets in France, we know that some German movies can travel,” Lupfer said.

Studiocanal already produces or finances about 50 movies a year. With €416 million ($453 million) in revenue last year, the company can afford to make bigger-budget films that buyers are clamoring for. Unlike many sales agents, Studiocanal still sells on the open market in many territories, which is crucial for independent distributors.

The company has also set its sights on partnering with telecom companies throughout Europe and supplying them with premium content.

More TV

  • BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary with

    BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary With Stephen Fry, Freddie Fox

    A new documentary about Oscar Wilde will tell the celebrated writer’s story with a star cast recreating excerpts from his greatest works, including “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Freddie Fox, Claire Skinner, Anna Chancellor and James Fleet will all perform in the 80-minute show, “The Importance of Being Oscar,” which [...]

  • FOSSE VERDON -- Pictured: (l-r) Michelle

    TV News Roundup: 'Fosse/Verdon' Premiere Date Set at FX

    In today’s TV news roundup, FX announced the premiere date for “Fosse/Verdon,” and Comedy Central released a new trailer for the final season of “Broad City.”  DATES “Workin’ Moms” is set to premiere Feb. 22 on Netflix. The series, which is currently in its third season, first aired in Canada on CBC Television and is [...]

  • Ilana Glazer Abbi Jacobson

    'Broad City' Stars on Discovering New Aspects of Their Characters

    Throughout the run of “Broad City,” creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have been conflicted about how much of their on-screen characters (also named Abbi and Ilana) should come directly from their personalities and lives. But when it came to the final season, Jacobson in particular experienced a life-changing shift that she wanted to impart [...]

  • The Goldbergs spinoff

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilot 'Uninsured' From 'Goldbergs' Producers

    NBC has ordered a pilot for the multi-camera comedy “Uninsured.” In the series, young parents Dave and Rebecca end up having to take care of Dave’s parents who have mishandled their finances and need help to pay down a sizable debt. Dan Levy will serve as writer and executive producer, with Doug Robinson and Alison Greenspan [...]

  • Emily Kapnek

    'Splitting Up Together' Creator Emily Kapnek Inks Overall Deal at ABC Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    Writer and producer Emily Kapnek has signed a three-year overall deal at ABC Studios, Variety has learned exclusively. Kapnek most recently developed the ABC single-cam comedy series “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the Danish series “Bedre skilt end aldrig.” She was previously under an overall deal at Warner Bros. Television, which produces “Splitting Up [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content