French Network to Put Asterix on Film

The Hollywood Reporter brings word that French TV network M6 is set to produce an animated feature based on one of Europe’s best-known comic strips. Asterix and the Vikings, which is being presented at Cannes, will reportedly be Europe’s most expensive full-length animated film to date.

Asterix will employ traditional 2D animation augmented by 3D elements and effects to tell the story of a small but tough warrior protecting Gaul from the invading Romans. When the Vikings kidnap the nephew of a Gaul chief, Asterix goes into action and sets off on an adventure that leads him to different foreign lands.

The comic was created by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. The adaptation will be helmed by Danish director Stefan Fjeldmark. M6 head of youth programming Natalie Altman will produce from a script by Fjeldmark and Belgium-based Jean-Luc Goossens. It is slated for delivery in 2006.

The property first made it onto the big screen in 1999 with the release of the live-action, French-language comedy Asterix & Obelix Vs. Caesar, starring Gerard Depardieu and Roberto Benigni. That film and its sequel, 2002′s Asterix & Obelix Meet Cleopatra are said to be slated for U.S. home video release through Miramax.