The Weinstein Company announced it will be releasing Leap! — a French-Canadian CG animated feature centered on a late 19th century Paris ballet school — in theaters on March 3, 2017. Under the title Ballerina, the English-language film was recently shopped at AFM, buoyed by the star power of lead voice actor Elle Fanning.
Fanning’s last voice-over gig was portraying Winnie in LAIKA’s The Boxtrolls. As a tot, she provided the English dub voice of Mei in Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro. Leap!’s headliners also include Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Maddie Ziegler of Dance Moms and pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, with Terrence Scammell and Julie Khaner.
Leap! is set in Belle Époque Paris, and follows an 11-year-old orphaned girl who arrives in the city with nothing but a driving passion to become a ballet dancer. Desperate, penniless and separated from her traveling companion — a boy from her hometown who dreams of being a famous inventor — she assumes the identity of a snobby rich girl and makes it into the famous Opera Ballet School. With the help of her friends and a mysterious caretaker, she evades the malicious whims of the school’s toughest instructor and learns that it take more than raw talent to be a ballerina.
Produced by Quad Productions, Main Journey and Caramel Film, Leap! is directed by Eric Summer and Éric Warin, from an original story by Summer & Laurent Zeitoun, with script by Carol Noble, Zeitoun & Summer. Producers are Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou and Zeitoun for Quad and Main Journey, and Andre Rouleau and Valerie D’Auteuil for Caramel.