Panda Co-director Osborne To Direct Little Prince

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Kung Fu Panda co-director Mark Osborne has signed on to direct a French stereoscopic 3D animated production of The Little Prince, Variety reports.

Aton Soumache and Dmitri Rassam are producing the movie, which has an estimated budget of $63 million.

Soumache and Method Films are also producing a 3-D animated TV series based on The Little Prince, which was unveiled at MIPCOM earlier this month.

Production on the film is set to begin in 2012 with release planned for 2014.

“Having Mark Osborne on board gives the project an international label of quality: He brings in his storytelling talent and level of experience,” Rassam told the trade publication.

Osborne co-directed the Oscar-nominated and Annie-winning Kung Fu Panda with John Stevenson. He also directed episodes for the Nick animated series SpongeBob SquarePants.

Soumache previously produced the mo-cap animated thriller Renaissance while Rassam’s credits include The Children of Timpelbach.

The film will be based on the classic children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery first published in 1943.