Produced by Stassen’s Brussels-based nWave, “The Queen’s Corgi” has been picked up by Bona Film Group for China, and by Apollo Films – the newly launched banner of former Gaumont and Studiocanal exec Francois Clerc – and TF1 Studio for theatrical and VOD/DVD distribution in France, respectively. The sale to TF1 Studio also covers Monaco, Andorra and French-speaking Africa.
“The Queen’s Corgi” is expected to be Stassen’s most creatively ambitious project to date, as well as one of Europe’s biggest animated features slated for 2019.
The feature, which will be delivered in the first quarter of next year, was written by Rob Sprackling and Johnny Smith, whose credits include “Gnomeo and Juliet.” Stassen is co-directing the film with Vincent Kesteloot (“Sammy 2”).
“nWave produced an authentic comedy and its know-how in creating quality animation has already been proven,” said Clerc. “Animation is part of Apollo Film’s DNA and we’re proud to be trusted by one of Europe’s best animation studios.”
Yohann Comte, who co-founded Charades a year ago with Pierre Mazars, Carole Baraton and Constantin Briest, said the French company was “very honored to work with Bona on an nWave film for the first time,with the shared belief that ‘The Queen’s Corgi’ is surely their most ambitious and mainstream film ever.”
Beyond France and China, Charades has pre-sold “The Queen’s Corgi” to Latin America (Leda), South Korea (Isu C&e), Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria (Vertical Distribution Limited), Russia, CEI (Volgafilm), South Africa (Times Media Films), Poland (Monolith Films Ltd.), Greece (Odeon S.a.), Portugal (Cinemundo), Israel (Forum Film), Baltics (Acme Film), Czech Republic (Aqs A.s.), Bulgaria (Vertical), ex-Yugoslavia (Blitz Film & Video Distribution), Vietnam (Blue Lantern Entertainment International), Turkey (Movie Box), India (PVR Pictures) and Middle East (Selim Ramia & Co).
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 introduced the project to buyers at last November’s AFM, pitching it as a heartwarming family adventure in the spirit of Disney’s canine classics such as “The Fox and the Hound” and “Lady and the Tramp.”
A pioneer of 3D animation in Europe, Stassen’s credits include “A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures,” “The House of Magic,” “The Wild Life” and “The Son of Bigfoot,” among others.