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Leclerc nabs royal title with ‘Princess’

July 10, 2003 - The Hollywood Reporter

PARIS—French independent production house Belokan Prods. has greenlighted a new animated feature tentatively titled “The Princess of the Sun.”

The film will be directed by Philippe Leclerc with a budget of €8 million ($9 million).

“Princess” is based on the book “La Reine Soleil” by Christian Jacq, a French writer well known for his books on Egyptian history.

The story blends action and romance and revolves around the adolescent adventures of Akheza, the daughter of Nefertiti, and a young Tutankhamen in the period just before his coronation as king of Egypt.

The announcement Wednesday by Belokan president Leon Zuratas comes hot on the heels of three French animated features released in June, including “Belleville Rendezvous,” the CGI adventure “Kaena” and the Belokan-made “The Rain Children” (HR 5/27).

Along with director Leclerc and composer Didier Lockwood, “Princess” is likely to reunite much of the original production team from “The Rain Children,” including production partners France 2 Cinema and Canal Plus, along with distribution by MK2.

“Everyone is waiting a moment to see the final numbers of ‘The Rain Children’ and the two other films,” Zuratas said.

“The Rain Children” has made a respectable showing since its release at the French boxoffice, with just under 200,000 admissions.

It will face stiff boxoffice competition as “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” opened Wednesday to strong reviews in the French press and an accompanying advertising blitz.

Production of “Princess,” which is expected to take two years to complete, is slated to begin by year’s end.


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