Highmore Wraps Bessons’ Arthur Sequels

In an interview with SCI FI Channel’s SCI FI Wire, child star Freddie Highmore says that he recently laid down his last voice tracks for two upcoming sequels to French filmmaker Luc Besson’s largely animated 2006 family film Arthur and the Invisibles. Based on Besson’s own series of children’s books, Arthur and the Vengeance of Maltazard is slated to hit theaters in 2009, followed by Arthur and the Two Worlds War possibly in 2010.

The live-action portions of the movies were shot more than a year ago, and time was of the essence as producers wanted to get Highmore’s voice recording sessions completed before the 16-year-old actor’s voice changed too much. Also returning to the voice cast for the second and third installments are David Bowie, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Jewel, Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.

Made for around $86 million, the first Arthur pic was the most expensive European animated feature at the time it came out. It grossed $113 million worldwide but only took in $15 million in the U.S., where it was distributed by MGM and the Weinstein Co.

Earlier this year, Besson’s EuropaCorp picked up rights to Mathias Malzieu’s sci-fi novel La Mecanique du Coeur (The Mechanics of the Heart), and plans to make an animated feature from it. Highmore was most recently seen in Paramount’s adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles, which will be released on DVD on June 24.