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FilmNation Ventures Into Animation with Sci-Fi Reimagining of Chaplin’s ‘The Kid’ (EXCLUSIVE)

FilmNation has boarded its first animated feature: A science fiction re-imagining of Chaplin Chaplin’s 1921 film “The Kid” to be directed by Christian Volckman (“Renaissance”) and Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”).

French animation outfit Superprod, Luxembourg’s Bidibul and U.S. banner Big Beach, the New-York based company behind “Little Miss Sunshine,” have joined forces to produce the yet-to-be-titled animated feature inspired by the characters and themes in “The Kid.”

Boris Starling, a journalist and best-selling author who created the BBC1 primetime series “Messiah,” is writing the script with Volckman and Wyatt.

Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf are producing for Big Beach banner alongside Superprod’s Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner, the producer pair behind Tomm Moore’s Oscar-nominated “Song of the Sea,” and Bidibul’s Lilian Eche and Christel Henon. The feature is being developed with the support of Chaplin’s family and the rights holders of “The Kid.”

Turtletaub and Saraf of Big Beach said, “Animation gives (them) the unique opportunity to craft an original and moving story that explores technology and humanity, all told from the point of view of a boy and his robot.”

FilmNation Entertainment is handling international distribution, while UTA Independent Film Group is repping North American rights and packaged the film.

“We’ve been waiting for a really exceptional project for FilmNation’s first animated feature. With a filmmaking team that is second to none, we are excited to help bring ‘The Kid’ to a global audience,” said Glen Basner, FilmNation Entertainment CEO.

Wyatt made his directorial debut in 2008 with the Sundance film “The Escapist” and went on to direct “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which grossed $481.8 million worldwide in 2011. The B.O. hit put Wyatt put him in the vanguard of filmmakers who have made extensive use of motion capture in feature films.

Wyatt is currently in post-production on the alien sci-fi film “Captive State” for Focus Features, Amblin Entertainment and Participant Media.

Volckman, who conceived the idea for the animated project, previously directed “Renaissance,” a dystopian black and white animated film whose voice cast was led by Daniel Craig. Miramax distributed the film in the U.S.

The project will mark the second collaboration between Superprod, Bidibul and Big Beach who are also working together on “White Fang,” an animated version of Jack London’s beloved novel which is now in production. The outfits are also developing the sequel to “White Fang.”

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