Sunday, March 05, 2006

Besson Messin' With the "Minimoys"' ...

The Weinstein Co. has acquired rights in all English speaking territories to the CG live-action hybride film "ARTHUR AND THE MINIMOYS", based on director Luc Besson's best-selling children's book by the same title. The screenplay was adapted by Besson, the award winning writer/director/producer behind such movies as "THE FIFTH ELEMENT", "THE MESSENGER: THE STORY OF JOAN OF ARC" and "LA FEMME NIKITA".

Besson is directing the film, which features Freddie Highmore and Mia Farrow, and the voices of Madonna, Snoop Dogg, and David Bowie.

The film is in production and is being produced by EuropaCorp.

The story follows the adventures of 10-year-old 'Arthur' as he sets out to find his grandpa's treasure, which is hidden somewhere on the "other side" in the land of the 'Minimoy', in an effort to save his grandma's home from a real estate developer.

The Minimoys are a tenth of an inch tall and live in perfect harmony with their environment.

In this strange world, Arthur meets 'Princess Selenia' and her brother 'Betameche'. Together they set off to look for the treasure.

"We are thrilled to be bringing this exciting adventure story to the big screen," said Harvey Weinstein.

"'Arthur' is an enchanting and heroic tale and will be enjoyed by family audiences everywhere."

Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, the film’s producer, stated, "ARTHUR AND THE MINIMOYS is clearly the most ambitious, creative and unique project EuropaCorp has ever produced. Luc Besson has spent 3 1/2 years to create and direct this movie, with the same energy and passion that he provided to THE FIFTH ELEMENT and more. We all at EuropaCorp are thrilled and most delighted to know this treasured project is being carried by such a creative and dedicated team such as The Weinstein Co."

Luc Besson's 2003 book, a huge success in France, captured the hearts of young readers. There are four books in Besson's series including "ARTHUR AND THE FORBIDDEN CITY", "ARTHUR AND THE REVENGE OF MALTAZARD" and "ARTHUR AND THE WAR OF THE TWO WORLDS.

The publishing rights of the first two books are handled by Harper Collin's Children Books.

For The Weinstein Co., the project will be overseen by co-president of production, Michael Cole, and director of production and development, Michael Schaefer.

Maeva Gatineau, evp of Europe acquisitions and co-production, brought the film to The Weinstein Co.