Chomet is the BAFTA-winning, four-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker of “The Triplets of Belleville” and “The Illusionist” which were both distributed by Sony Pictures Classics.
The deal covers all rights for North America, Latin America, Scandinavia, Middle East, Israel, India, Italy, and
worldwide airlines and ships at sea in all languages.
“‘The Magnificent Life of Marcel Pagnol’ completes the animated feature film trilogy started with ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ and ‘The Illusionist’ (both enormous successes and evergreen titles for Sony Pictures Classics),” said SPC.
“Sylvain Chomet is one of the great masters of animation in the world. It is a pleasure and privilege to be back in business with Sylvain and to expand Sylvain’s audience wider than ever,” added the company.
A modern fable, the animated biopic will chart the epic life of Pagnol, a celebrated French novelist, playwright and filmmaker who grew up in a middle-class household in Marseille and became one of the world’s most inventive and prolific artists from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. Throughout his long career, Pagnol’s books were translated into more than 50 languages and sold more than 150 million units. Pagnol also built his own studio and distribution company, pioneering talking pictures and helping shape the global cinema industry at the time. His movies, including his best-known Provence-set melodrama trilogy “Marius,” “Fanny” and “César,” reached more than 200 admissions worldwide.
“The Magnificent Life of Marcel Pagnol” is a passion project for Chomet, a visionary author and filmmaker whose Oscar-nominated animated films “The Triplets of Belleville” and “The Illusionist” traveled to international festivals (including Cannes, Berlin and Annecy) and established director-driven, hand-drawn, French animation as a gold standard.
He previously told Variety that he was “deeply inspired by Pagnol’s deep humanism, audacity and authenticity, and also drawn to the idea of telling the fabulous success story of this artist with a rich historical backdrop depicting the upheavals of the 20th century, notably the rise of fascism in Europe and World War II.”
“It truly is an honor to launch this great international movie with Sony Pictures Classics, who recognized the universality of this extraordinary fresco and all the international potential,” said Aton Soumache, president and founder of ON Classics.
The film is currently in production and due to be completed in 2024. It’s produced by ON Classics, a Mediawan Group company whose credits include “The Little Prince,” along with French producers Ashargin Poiré and Valérie Puech for What the Prod. Co-producers are Lilian Eche’s Bidibul Productions, Adrian Politowski’s Align, in collaboration with Nicolas Pagnol from Pagnol’s Estate.
The deal was negotiated by Soumache on behalf of ON Classics with Sony Pictures Classics.