Guillaume Canet, one of France’s most successful actors and filmmakers, is set to star in and direct “Asterix & Obelix, the Silk Road,” a live-action film that will mark the next installment of the blockbuster French comic book franchise.
Pathé is co-producing the film, budgeted at $60 million, with Les Enfants Terribles and Tresor Films. Pathé will also distribute the film in France and will represent it in international markets.
Now in development, “Asterix & Obelix, the Silk Road” is an original story penned by Philippe Mechelen and Julien Hervé, based on the comicbook collection created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo and published by Les Editions Albert-René.
Canet, who also collaborated on the script, will star as Asterix alongside Gilles Lellouche (“Little White Lies”), who will play Obelix. Set to start shooting in the spring, “Asterix & Obelix, the Silk Road” will follow the protagonists on a journey to China.
“Asterix and Obelix” has, for the most part, been a hit franchise in France. The installment directed by Alain Chabat in 2002, “Asterix and Obelix: Meet Cleopatra,” was the most successful so far. Pathé co-produced and handled all but one of the installments.
Canet has a strong directorial track record, having helmed some of France’s biggest B.O. hits in recent years. These include “Little White Lies,” the highest-grossing French film of 2010, and “Nous finirons ensemble,” which sold more than 2.6 million tickets earlier this year. Both movies also starred Lellouche.
“Asterix & Obelix, the Silk Road” will reteam Canet with Tresor Films, which has been producing all his directorial outings.
Canet teased the project Sunday on his Instagram account with a picture of himself and the figurines of Asterix and Obelix, and on Monday he posted a photo showing the cast in costume.