MK2 Leaps Into ‘A Winter’s Journey’ Made By ‘Despicable Me,’ ‘Loving Vincent’ Artists (EXCLUSIVE)

MK2 has boarded Alex Helfrecht’s “A Winter’s Journey,” a feature blending live-action, CGI and hand-painted backgrounds made by the creative teams behind “Despicable Me” and “Loving Vincent.”

Adapted from Franz Schubert’s “Winterreise,” the film stars Gaspard Ulliel, John Malkovich, Martina Gedeck, Charles Berling  and newcomer Gabriella Moran.

Set in 1812 Bavaria, the film tells the story of a lovelorn young poet who, banished from society, is forced to wander across mountains, ice and snow on a dangerous journey that will either lead him to death or to a new life.

“A Winter’s Journey’ is a passionate love story with epic visuals. It’s an animated film… putting performance at its core and speaking the international language of music and art,” said Helfrecht.

MK2 Films has acquired international sales rights and will begin pre-sales at the EFM. “Helfrecht’s unique vision for this adaptation of Franz Schubert’s timeless masterpiece is one of the most stunning packages we have come across in recent years,” said Juliette Schrameck, the managing director at MK2 films, the Paris-based company which had five films competing at last year’s Cannes, including Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Young Lady on Fire.”

Schrameck said the film had the potential to appeal to audiences beyond classical music fans. “The rotoscoping technique will make it dream-like and the support of world-class baritone Andrè Schuen and Deutsche Gramophon are a seal of quality for its epic soundtrack,” added the executive.

Mac Guff (“Despicable Me” and “Azur & Asmar”) are doing the rotoscoping and animation on the film and Breakthru Films (“Loving Vincent”) will be designing and painting the backgrounds.

“A Winter’s Journey” is produced by Oiffy (“The White King”), Les Films d’ici (“Waltz With Bashir”), Cité Films and Pandora Film (“Monos”). The film is now in production and expected to be delivered in 2022.

“’A Winter’s Journey’ is a true passion project built upon Franz Schubert’s masterpiece which feels as modern and topical today as it did two centuries ago,” said Oiffy’s Jörg Tittel, who is producing the film along with Charlotte Uzu, Reinhard Brundig, Raphael Berdugo and Richard Mansell.

“It’s a story for all of us outsiders and romantic souls struggling to finding a place in this divided world,” added Tittel.

MK2 is in Berlin with Jia Zhangke’s documentary “Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue,” which will be having its world premiere in the Berlinale Special section, among other films.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Extinction

    Coronavirus Causes 85% Crash in Asia Box Office

    Theatrical box office in the Asia-Pacific region tumbled a massive 85% in the first two months of the year. The coronavirus caused cinema closures, audience hesitation, and a halving of the number of film releases. Asia is home to the five of the top ten cinema markets outside North America. According to data from the [...]

  • Lindsay Lindenbaum on 'Tomboy,' Female Drummers,

    How 'Tomboy' Filmmaker Used SXSW Cancellation to Fine-Tune Her Film

    “Tomboy” filmmaker Lindsay Lindenbaum spent five years following four female drummers trying to make it in a male-dominated world. Lindenbaum profiles Bobbye Hall, a drummer who started at Motown Records in the late ’60s and later toured with Bob Dylan. Samantha Maloney, whose obsession with MTV’s “Headbangers Ball” as a teenager led her to fall [...]

  • Wonder Woman 1984

    Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Wipe Out All of Summer Blockbuster Season?

    Say goodbye to blockbuster season — at least for this year. After would-be summer hits from Disney, Warner Bros., and Universal already vacated their release dates, Sony Pictures announced Monday that its comic book adventure “Morbius,” “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” and virtually all of its upcoming tentpoles were being moved into the fall or beyond. It was [...]

  • Dodgers Stadium Empty

    Movie Theaters and Concerts Could See Major Attendance Drop Post-Pandemic (Study)

    After a month of increasing anxiety and self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, audiences in the U.S. are largely not eager to return to public events once the crisis subsides, according to a new study. In a survey of 1,000 consumers in the U.S., 44% of respondents said they would attend fewer large public events, [...]

  • 'Dolphin Reef' Review: A Dazzling Look

    'Dolphin Reef' on Disney Plus: Film Review

    Out of the vast universe of nature documentaries, I don’t think I’m alone in finding films about life under the sea to occupy a special place. The very fact that they exist, of course, is amazing — though when you watch one, part of the wonder is that you’re not thinking about how aquamarine filmmakers [...]

  • CONJURING DAD – In Disney and

    What's Coming to Disney Plus in April 2020

    Disney Plus will continue to expand its library next month, adding older films as well as new episodes of its original programming. Less than a month after its release on March 6, Pixar’s “Onward” is making an early jump to Disney’s streaming platform amid the coronavirus pandemic. With the vast majority of theaters now closed [...]

  • Black AF Netflix

    Everything Coming to Netflix in April

    As everyone continues to self-quarantine and practice social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no better “at-home” activity than catching up on all the new films and shows streaming on Netflix this April. A number of new series are set to premiere on the streaming platform, including “Never Have I Ever,” “#BlackAf,” “OuterBanks,” “The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content