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UGC, Gaumont Team on ‘Gaston’ Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 2/9/2017 Elsa Keslassy
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Romain Rojtman, the French producer of French B.O. smash “Serial (Bad) Weddings,” is partnering with UGC and Gaumont on “Gaston,” the film adaptation of André Franquin’s cult comic strip franchise Gaston Lagaffe.

“Gaston” will be mostly shot in live action with some animation, which will be created by MacGuff.

Pierre Francois Martin-Laval is on board to direct “Gaston” with a budget of 19 million euros ($20 million), one of the biggest-budget films from France in 2018. Martin-Laval and Rojtman previously teamed on the two popular comedy films “Serial Teachers” and “Serial Teachers 2,” which together grossed $53 million at the French box office.

Martin-Laval will also star in the film as Gaston alongside Theo Fernandez (“The Tuche Family”) and Alison Wheeler (“Going to Brazil”).

“The comedy will carry the same values of ‘green attitude’ and ‘pacifism’ that’s in the comicbook,” said Cecile Gaget, head of international distribution at Gaumont. Gaget pointed out that “Gaston” comicbooks have been highly popular in Europe, especially in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and Portugal. Over 30 million copies of the books have been sold worldwide.

UGC will release the movie in France; Gaumont handles international sales.

A rising French producer specializing in family comedies, Rojtman has been behind the biggest French hits in the last few years, notably “Serial (Bad) Weddings,” which grossed $151 million worldwide.

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