×

Paris-Based Xilam Expands Scope With Shows and Films Targeting Adults and Teens (EXCLUSIVE)

Marc Du Pontavice, whose Paris-based company, Xilam, won Cannes Critics’ Week top prize with the animated feature “I Lost My Body,” is set to expand the scope of his listed outfit with new projects directed at adults and teens.

Among these projects is a series adaptation of “Monkey Bizness,” the popular French comics created by Pozla and El Diablo, the pair behind “Les Lascars.” Xilam has acquired the right to the comics collection and is collaborating with the authors on a half-hour comedy series for young adults. The series is set in a future world dominated by monkeys. It follows the adventures of two clumsy, incompetent underachievers working for the local mafia.

“‘Monkey Bizness’ will be an offbeat and irreverent comedy series appealing primarily to young adults,” said Du Pontavice, who was honored Tuesday at the Annecy Film Festival. The producer said he would likely get a streaming service on board for “Monkey Bizness.”

“There is a strong demand right now for niche projects like ‘Monkey Bizness’ because platforms allow us to target a niche globally and therefore gives us the possibility to access bigger budgets than if we were trying to finance a series based on a niche in a single market,” Du Pontavice said.

Listed on the Paris stock exchange since 2002, Xilam has seen its value skyrocket by 300% to nearly €40 per share, bolstered by the success of nonverbal slapstick comedy series like “Oggy and the Cockroaches,” “Zig and Sharko” and, more recently, “Paprika.” The company recently branched out to animated features for adults and families, such as Jeremy Clapin’s “I Lost My Hand,” and intends to do more of these. Du Pontavice said Xilam was working with Clapin on his next project.

Sold by Charades, “I Lost My Body” was acquired by Netflix following its Cannes premiere for worldwide rights with the exception of China, Benelux, Switzerland, Russia and France. Du Pontavice said the movie marked a milestone because it’s one of the rare animated film for adults which isn’t political.

“‘I Lost My Body’ is first and foremost a romantic comedy and an intimate, singular film. The fantasy aspect comes second, and when you watch the movie you quickly forget it’s animated, notably because it’s shot like a live-action film,” said Du Pontavice.

At Annecy, Xilam also unveiled its series project with Disney Plus, “Chip ‘n’ Dale,” which will be a reboot of the cult series. The show will be driven by slapstick comedy and will follow a pair of chipmunks who struggle with life in the big city. Du Pontavice said Disney approached Xilam not only to handle the animation but also create the entire reboot.

“It’s very rewarding to collaborate with Disney on bringing back these beloved characters,” said Du Pontavice, adding that the company has been developing the series for the last two years.

“I Lost My Body” will be released in France by Rezo on Nov. 6.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Benjamin Wallfisch - scoring session, Abbey

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (GSA) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA [...]

  • The Moneychanger

    Toronto Film Review: ‘The Moneychanger’

    Uruguayan auteur Federico Veiroj (“The Apostate,” “Belmonte”) broadens his usual intimate dramatic scope to diminishing returns for his fifth feature, “The Moneychanger,” . Adapted from a novella by compatriot Juan Enrique Gruber, the period (mid-1950s to mid-1970s) tale centers on the eponymous character, an amoral currency exchanger, who winds up laundering some of the dirtiest [...]

  • Send Me to the Clouds

    Film Review: ‘Send Me to the Clouds’

    The social and economic pressures felt by China’s “leftover women” — referring to those older than 26 and unmarried — are examined in “Send Me to the Clouds,” a rewarding dramedy about a 30-ish journalist seeking financial reward and sexual fulfillment after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Bold by mainland standards for presenting a positive [...]

  • Jamie Bell Without Remorse

    Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jamie Bell is in final negotiations to join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel “Without Remorse.” Stefano Sollima, who most recently helmed “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” is directing from a script by “Sicaro” screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. As previously announced, Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known [...]

  • Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter,

    'Downton Abbey' Movie Sequel? Producers Tease That They Have 'Some Ideas'

    “Downton Abbey” holds the record as the most-nominated international show at the Emmy Awards with 69 nominations and 15 wins — and now, it stands a chance to nab an Oscar. More than three years after the beloved series signed off the air following six critically-acclaimed seasons, “Downton Abbey” is making its big-screen debut. “It [...]

  • Todd Phillips Joaquin Phoenix Joker Movie

    What's Woker Than 'Joker'? Film Critics Made Everything Political at Fall Festivals

    “Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?” asks Joaquin Phoenix, playing a deranged incel version of the DC supervillain in “Joker,” the unconventional comic book movie that’s sucked up much of the air from the fall festival circuit. Like an aggro caricature of the “involuntary celibates” who troll message boards online, [...]

  • Running Against the Wind

    Young Africans' Dreams Are Focus of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda Oscar Picks

    Films about young Africans trying to fulfill their dreams in the face of war, poverty, tradition and other forms of adversity have been submitted for Oscar consideration by three East African nations. The selections by Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda to compete in the international feature film category reflect the relative youth of filmmaking in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content