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PRODUCTION France

La Petite Reine back on track with Astérix

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Back to the drawing board for La Petite Reine, the company run by Thomas Langmann (son of Claude Berri) which will produce the third panel in the triptych of feature films inspired by the adventures of Astérix et Obélix. In association with Pathé, the project Astérix at the Olympic Games will have a budget of between 50 and 60 millions euros for a shoot that will begin in North Africa (Morocco and Tunisia) in May 2006 for release in in December 2007. Already confirmed in the cast are b>Gérard Depardieu (Obélix), Alain Delon (Julius Caesar), Benoît Poelvoorde (Brutus), Dany Boon, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Indian actress Aishwarya Rai, with the part of Asterix as yet to be cast. At the helm of this super-production will be the director Frédéric Forestier (Le Boulet) with a screenplay co-written by Olivier Dazat, Charlot, Magnier et Thomas Langmann himself.

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34 years old, Thomas Langmann has put his foot back on the gas after a difficult 2004, marked by the commercial disappointment of Blueberry by Jan Kounen (765 000 tickets in France) and by the casting disappointments of L’Instinct de mort, punctuated last November by the much-publicised head-butt on the agent of Benoît Magimel (who backed out of the project at the last minute). So 2005 has put la Petite Reine back on track, since, as well as Astérix, Vincent Cassel appears to have come back to the project L’Instinct de mort (the memoirs of gangster and public enemy number one, Jacques Mesrine) which will be directed by Jean-François Richet, taking over from Barbet Schroeder.

With Astérix at the Olympic Games La Petite Reine and Pathé are clearly holding a trump card since the first two films produced by Claude Berri (Astérix and Obélix versus Caesar in 1999 and Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cleopatra in 2002) accumulated respectively 9 and 14,5 million spectators in France, realising good figures too internationally (more than 40 million euros for Mission Cleopatra ).

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(Translated from French)

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