Sony Pictures Classics announced today they have acquired all rights in all media in North America, Latin America, Scandinavia, Middle East, Israel, India, Italy, and worldwide airlines and ships at sea in all languages to four-time Academy Award nominee and BAFTA winner Sylvain Chomet’s (THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE, THE ILLUSIONIST, PARIS, JE T’AIME, THE OLD LADY AND THE PIGEONS) forthcoming English language film THE MAGNIFICENT LIFE OF MARCEL PAGNOL, based on the exceptional life of the legendary author Marcel Pagnol.
Two of Chomet’s previous films, THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE and THE ILLUSIONIST, were also distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and both were nominated for Animated Feature Academy Award.
Based in 1955, Chomet’s film follows 60-year-old Marcel Pagnol, one of the most prolific artists of the 20th century, with 150 million books sold worldwide and translated into more than 50 languages, a well-known and acclaimed playwright and filmmaker. When the editor-in-chief of ELLE Magazine commissions a weekly column about the acclaimed playwright and filmmaker’s childhood, he sees this as a great opportunity to go back to his artistic roots: writing. Realizing his memory is failing him and deeply affected by the disappointing results of his last two plays, Pagnol starts doubting his ability to pursue his work. That is until Little Marcel – the young boy he used to be – appears to him as if by magic. Together, they will explore Marcel Pagnol’s incredible life and bring back to life his most cherished encounters and memories. With Chomet at the helm, this animated film will take the viewer on an adventure through France, from Paris to Pagnol’s hometown of Provence, during half a century of epic history that has built our modern world.
“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 Sony Pictures Classics. “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.”
“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 it represents by retracing the solar and intense life of Marcel Pagnol, and through him, the timeless history of cinema. The movie marks the return of Sylvain Chomet to animation whose work is recognized all over the world for being both singular and universal at the same time,” declares Aton Soumache, President and Founder of ON Classics.
“THE MAGNIFICENT LIFE OF MARCEL PAGNOL is a film about the extraordinary history of cinema and the beginning of talking movies. Pagnol is the link between film, literature and theatre. I am proud to be able to tell this extraordinary adventure, of which we are all heirs, and which Sony Pictures Classics as my partner will travel all over the world,” said Sylvain Chomet.
The film, which is currently in production and due to be completed in 2024, is produced by award-winning producer of The Little Prince, ON Classics (Mediawan Group) founder and head Aton Soumache, French producers Ashargin Poiré and Valérie Puech for What the Prod, and co-produced by Lilian Eche’s Bidibul Productions, Align headed by Adrian Politowski, and in collaboration with Nicolas Pagnol from Pagnol’s Estate.
The deal was negotiated by Aton Soumache on behalf of ON Classics with Sony Pictures Classics.