January 22, 2006

‘Penguins’ director takes on ‘Fox’ in next film

By Gregg Goldstein

PARK CITY, Utah (Hollywood Reporter) - The director of last
year's biggest Sundance success story, "March of the Penguins,"
says his follow-up will combine nature documentary footage and
a fictionalized story.

"The Fox & the Child" centers on a young girl and her
friendship with the eponymous animal. An adult female narrator
will relate the tale as a memoir of her childhood.

Luc Jacquet said he was inspired to write the story based
on his own first-time encounter with a fox as a 10-year-old,
along with a similar episode featured in Antoine de
Saint-Exupery's classic children's book "The Little Prince."

The $13 million-plus film is scheduled for a yearlong shoot
beginning in March and aiming for a December 2007 completion
date. Production will take place in France, Italy and Romania.

"March of the Penguins" barely registered on the radar at
Sundance last year until Warner Independent Pictures closed a
deal with 50-50 partner National Geographic Films to acquire
the French-language nature documentary. The studio re-edited it
into an English-language version, and the film went on to gross
more than $77 million at the domestic box office.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter