Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Sylvain Chomet’s THE ILLUSIONIST, His Animated Follow-Up to TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE

     April 26, 2010

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In what seems like a match made in heaven, Sylvain Chomet–the writer/director of the whimsically Oscar-nominated The Triplets of Belleville–teamed up with the timeless French funnyman and filmmaker Jacques Tati for the new animated feature The Illusionist.  (Given that Tati died in 1982, said match was in all likelihood negotiated within the pearly gates).  Sony Picture Classics bore witness to the magic of Illusionist after its Berlin Film Festival world premiere and acquired the North American distribution rights, targeting an end of the year release: your move, Oscar.

In The Illusionist, Chomet brings Tati back to life in animated form through an unproduced Tati screenplay, which tells the tale of “details the story of a dying breed of stage entertainer whose thunder is being stolen by emerging rock stars.”  You’ll find the full press release after the jump.

SONY PICTURES CLASSICS ACQUIRES SYLVAIN CHOMET’S LATEST FILM THE ILLUSIONIST

The Illusionist movie image directed by Sylvain Chomet (1).jpgNEW YORK, NY (April 26, 2010) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist from Pathe. The film is based on an unproduced screenplay by Jacques Tati and is produced by Bob Last and executive produced by Jake Eberts and Philippe Carcassonne (Coco Before Chanel). The Illusionist had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival as a Berlinale Special Selection.  It is planned for an end of year release.

Sony Pictures Classics previously worked with Chomet on his Academy Award(r) nominated film The Triplets of Belleville and Carcassonne on oco Before Chanel.

The Illusionist details the story of a dying breed of stage entertainer whose thunder is being stolen by emerging rock stars. Forced to accept increasingly obscure assignments in fringe theaters, garden parties and bars, he meets a young fan who changes his life forever.

“Collaborating with Sylvain on The Triplets of Belleville was such a fantastic experience; we are so thrilled to be back partnering with him again on The Illusionist, as well as our friends at Pathe, and producers Bob Last, Jake Eberts and Philippe Carcassonne. With a moving storyline and a work of art in each frame, audiences both young and old will connect with this film,” stated Sony Pictures Classics.

“There could not be a better home for The Illusionist, Sony Pictures Classics understands the strengths of Sylvain’s work and have the passion required to take the film to the widest possible audience. I am delighted to be working with SPC again,” said producer Bob Last.

Executive producer Philippe Carcassonne adds, “We’re obviously thrilled to work again with the team behind so many of tomorrow’s classics – which is exactly what I hope The Illusionist will soon become.”

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