One of Stassen’s most creatively ambitious projects to date, “The Queen’s Corgi” is being written by Rob Sprackling and Johnny Smith, whose credits include “Gnomeo and Juliet.” Stassen will direct the film with Vincent Kesteloot (“Sammy 2”).
Stassen, a pioneer of 3D animation in Europe, previously worked with Studiocanal, a former shareholder of nWave, on “A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures,” “The House of Magic,” “The Wild Life” and “The Son of Bigfoot.” nWave parted ways with Studiocanal in June after buying back its stake.
Budgeted at more than $20 million, “Corgi” follows the adventure of Rex, the British monarch’s most beloved dog, who loses track of his mistress and stumbles across a fight club with dogs of all kinds confronting each other. During his epic journey to find the queen again, Rex falls in love and discovers his true self.
Charades has acquired worldwide sales rights (outside of Benelux, Scandinavia and North America) to “The Queen’s Corgi” and will start shopping the project at the American Film Market. The film will be delivered in the first quarter of 2019.
“I am thrilled to embark with Charades and its highly experienced and motivated team on the sale of nWave’s seventh 3D animated feature,” said Stassen.
Charades seems a natural partner for Stassen’s film as the French company’s three founders, Carole Baraton, Pierre Mazars and Yohann Comte, each have a solid track record in selling high-pedigree European independent animation. Baraton sold “The Little Prince” at Wild Bunch, Comte sold “Ballerina” at Gaumont, and Mazars sold “Paddington” as well as Stassen’s films during his tenure at Studiocanal.
“For ‘The Queen’s Corgi,’ Ben Stassen had the great idea of buying the project from Montecito Pictures Company and tapping two of the leading writers on ‘Gnomeo and Juliet’ who are experts at creating pitch-perfect family comedy storytelling,” said Mazars.
Mazars said the film would be in the spirit of Disney’s heartwarming canine classics such as “The Fox and the Hound” and “Lady and the Tramp.” The exec said “The Queen’s Corgi” will also showcase Stassen’s 3D skills.
The Belgian director-producer remains one of the world’s rare purveyors of high-profile mainstream independent animation. His latest film, “The Son of Bigfoot,” which is still in theaters in many territories and has yet to open in more territories including the U.S., has so far grossed more than $29 million at the box office.