You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

French Producers, Vet Industry Players Partner Up to Form Zorg Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

PARIS – Gaspard de Chavagnac, the former boss of Zodiak Media France and FremantleMedia, has come on board Zorg Studios, a Paris-based production banner recently launched by a pair of independent producers, Erwan Marinopoulos (“Les Geeks”) and Edouard Duprey (“I Kissed a Girl”).

With offices in Paris and London, Zorg Studios also counts Romain Bessi, the former COO of Studiocanal, as a member of its strategic board.

Zorg Studios is currently developing five to six high-concept genre projects, all of which will be shot in English.

The company’s mandate is to emulate the model of Blumhouse, focusing on “tightly budgeted, concept-driven movies which can click with young audiences,” said Marinopoulos, who launched his own banner Skits in 2009 and produced the hit series “Les Geeks,” among other series aimed at teen audiences.

“We want to create a European-style Blumhouse, focusing on original stories set against European backdrops which range from the Versailles Palace to black sand beaches in Iceland,” added Marinopoulos.

De Chavagnac, who worked on such high-profile productions as “Versailles” during his tenure at Zodiak France, said the company aimed at casting actors who either come from big franchises or hit TV series and have a significant following on social networks.

De Chavagnac, a veteran industry player who founded the cable channel Televista and outfit Odena Media, also said Zorg Studios will have a creative approach to marketing film at an early stage, and will be involving the actors to leverage their respective communities on social media.

Duprey, who collaborated with De Chavagnac at Zodiak France, where we was CCO, as well as FremantleMedia France, where he was program director, said Zorg Studios will tap into the high demand for original content skewed at millennial audiences from streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

The company will be kicking off with the production of “Ben Lyk,” a thriller budgeted in the 2-million euro ($2.34 million) range, which will mark the directorial debut of Marinopoulos, who is also co-writing the script with Jean-Christophe Establet and Oliver Naldman.

Set in London, the film will center on Ben Lyk, a YouTuber who finds out that three unrelated people – a trader, cab driver and surgeon – who share his name have been murdered. The murders prompt Scotland Yard to gather up the eight remaining people named Ben Lyk and isolate them in a safe house.

Duprey and Marinopoulos described “Ben Lyk” as a mix between “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “Nice Guys” and “Shallow Grave.” The film will start shooting in September.

Zorg Studios is looking to raise 10 million euros starting early next year to finance its first slate and is currently in negotiations with several streaming platforms to sign non-exclusive partnership deals.

Aside from Zorg Studios, Duprey also runs Kaly Productions, a banner whose first feature film, “I Kissed a Girl,” was distributed by Gaumont and won the Grand Prize at the Alpe d’Huez festival in 2015.

More Film

  • Brian Tyree Henry They Cloned Tyrone

    Brian Tyree Henry to Star in 'They Cloned Tyrone' for Macro (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Atlanta” star Brian Tyree Henry is in negotiations to star in the thriller “They Cloned Tyrone” for Macro, sources tell Variety. “Creed 2” scribe Juel Taylor is on board to direct and will co-write the script with Tony Rettenmaier. Macro will produce. Plot details are vague other than the film being described as a contained [...]

  • Wolfgang Puck Governors Ball Food

    Wolfgang Puck Dishes on 25 Years of Governors Ball

    The evening of March 24, 2002, was unseasonably cool in Los Angeles. It was the night of the 74th Academy Awards, and the first to be held at the newly completed Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. As the show’s honorees began arriving at the venue and walking the red carpet, temperatures were dipping as low as [...]

  • Charles D. King, Producer'Sorry to Bother

    Charles King's Macro Signs First-Look Deal at Warner Bros. Pictures

    Charles D. King’s media company Macro has entered a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures Group to develop and package feature films. Warners Bros. will have the option to co-finance the projects from the producer of “Mudbound,” who will retain international rights to all films under the deal. “This expertise, combined with WarnerMedia and AT&T’s [...]

  • Kristine Belson Sony Animation

    How Kristine Belson Turned Up the Heat at Sony’s Sleepy Animation Shop

    “There are mimosas upstairs,” a staffer reminds Sony Pictures Animation president Kristine Belson on a recent Friday in her sunny and serene office, just a brisk walk from the studio lot in Culver City, Calif. Belson waves off the offer. “Not today,” she responds politely. She cites a packed schedule of home entertainment meetings, as [...]

  • Dean DeBlois'How to Train Your Dragon:

    How Dean DeBlois Broke New Ground in Sequel Strategy for 'Dragon' Trilogy

    As with practically every North American kid of his generation, Dean DeBlois had his mind blown by the original “Star Wars” trilogy. DeBlois — who was born in the tiny town of Aylmer, Quebec, where “Hollywood seemed so, so far away” — had just turned 7 when the first “Star Wars” movie opened in summer [...]

  • Dean DeBlois Chris Sanders Mulan Disney

    For 'How to Train Your Dragon's' Dean DeBlois, Animated Features Were His Destiny

    “How to Train Your Dragon” director Dean DeBlois grew up wanting to be a comic-book artist. After meandering his way through fine-arts classes at Sheridan College for a year, however, he managed to get into the school’s summer animation program, where he found his calling. “Animation had everything I love about comic books — you [...]

  • er prize during the cesar producers

    'Sink or Swim' Producer Alain Attal Wins Toscan du Plantier Prize

    Alain Attal, whose Paris-based company is behind Gilles Lellouche’s “Sink or Swim” and Jeanne Herry’s “In Safe Hands,” won the Toscan du Plantier Award, Gaul’s equivalent to the PGA’s Darryl F. Zanuck award, at a Paris ceremony on Feb. 18. Attal, the founder of Tresor Films, was named France’s best producer of 2018 at the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content