London- and Paris-based Film Constellation has boarded sales on 2D family animated feature “Carmen,” a contemporary adaptation of the opera, to be directed by 2023 Annecy Film Festival winner Sébastien Laudenbach. Variety revealed first details of the project last year exclusively.
Laudenbach, who won the best film award at Annecy for “Chicken for Linda!,” is teaming up with renowned French animation studio Folivari (“The Summit of the Gods,” “Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia,” “Wolfwalkers”) on “Carmen.”
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It’s 1840 in Seville, a pulsating town of sailors and small-time crooks. Salvador, a young assistant to the gifted knife grinder Antonio, meets a captivating gypsy girl named Carmen. Her rapturous beauty and independent spirit are the talk of the town, but Antonio’s ability to glimpse the future foretells a tragic fate. With unwavering resolve, Salvador will muster an eclectic band of misfit kids, led by the spirited Belén, to protect Carmen against the unyielding threads of destiny, igniting the ancient city’s alleyways in a symphony of emotions.
Haut et Court (“Wolfwalkers,” “Pachamama”) will release the film in theaters in France in 2026, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the original opera.
César-winning composer Amine Bouhafa (“Timbuktu,” “Four Daughters,” “The Summit of the Gods”) will revisit Carmen’s operatic melodies with new original compositions in a mix of traditional and contemporary orchestrations.
Laudenbach said: “’Carmen tells the tale of Salva and Belén, two young teenagers who cross paths with Carmen, a woman who is willing to impose her freedom in a world that won’t let her. Or how to talk about female empowerment to a young audience, who will become the men and women of tomorrow, via an adventure combining destiny, passion, epic breath, discovery, friendship and tenderness in a musical and colorful Seville.”
Fabien Westerhoff at Film Constellation said: “This animated reimagining of Carmen embraces the idea of a woman ahead of her time, presenting an innovative take on the timeless narrative through the eyes of our young protagonists. With the support of a stellar team led by Folivari, Sébastien’s vibrant vision will open the incredibly rich story and musical universe of Carmen to a new generation, in a ravishing feast for the eyes and ears that will mesmerize kids and parents alike.”
The film is produced by Folivari’s Damien Brunner and Sarah Delmas (“The Summit of the Gods,” “Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia,” “Wolfwalkers”), Pikkukala’s Veronica Lassenius and Pablo Jordi (“Stinky Dog,” “Royals Next Door”) and La Garde Montante’s Pierre-Henri Léon.
Joining the creative team are co-writer Santiago Otheguy (“La León,” “Monos,” “Tremors”), Disney alumni and comic-book writer Cyril Pedrosa (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Hercules”) as graphic designer, and César nominated animator and character designer Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec (“The Swallows of Kabul”).
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