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Global Showbiz Briefs: François Ivernel Exits Pathé; Canal Plus France Legal Battle Will Go To Mediation

By | Friday May 31, 2013 @ 9:00pm PDT

Veteran Exec François Ivernel Exits Pathé To Launch Production Company

Pathé said today that veteran top executive François Ivernel has resigned to launch Montebello Productions, a London-based film-production company that will open June 3. He most recently held several titles within the French company, serving as chairman of the board and managing director of Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé, deputy managing director of Pathé, as a member of its executive board and as president of Pathe U.K. Ivernel’s executive producer credits include the Best Picture Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire and Palme d’Or-winning The Wind That Shakes The Barley.

Vivendi Agrees To Mediation With Lagardere Over Canal Plus France

Vivendi agreed Friday that a mediator should decide its legal spat with Lagardere over their pay-TV venture Canal Plus France. Lagardere had said in February it was suing Vivendi for 1.6 billion euros ($2 billion). Reuters reports that the media group wants Vivendi to return the sum to Canal+ France because it claims Vivendi – which owns 80% of the venture — is making permanent use of the business’s entire cash surplus under a disputed cash management agreement between the venture and its Vivendi-owned parent. Vivendi has in turn accused Lagardere of trying to destabilize it and force it to buy back Lagardere’s 20 percent stake in Canal+ France, a move Vivendi.

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Guillermo Del Toro Starting Stop-Motion ‘Pinocchio’ Feature With Henson And Pathe

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company and Pathe are ready to go on Pinocchio, a 3D stop motion animated adaptation of the Carlo Collodi fairy tale that will be edgier than the 1940 animated Disney classic. Gris Grimly will co-direct with Mark Gustafson, and production will begin later this year.  Grimly illustrated a 2002 book of Collodi’s tale that formed the basis for a project that is years in the making.

The storyline was hatched by Del Toro and Matthew Robbins, and the script was written by the latter, who has collaborated with del Toro on scripts for Mimic, the remake Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and del Toro’s next directing project At the Mountains of Madness.  Del Toro will produce with Jim Henson Company’s Lisa Henson and Jason Lust, and Allison Abbate. Gary Ungar is exec producer along with Pathe’s Francois Ivernel and Cameron McCracken.

This version is aimed at an audience 10 years and up, and a bit scarier than the Disney film. Australian rock musician and film composer Nick Cave has signed on to be music consultant and the puppets and 3D elements will be developed with MacKinnon and Saunders, the UK-based facility that worked on The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, and the upcoming Frankenweenie. Del Toro supplied the accompanying photos to convey the feel of a film that shares a core theme from … Read More »

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Pathé UK Swaps Warner Bros For Fox

The London-based arm of the French film company has switched Warner Bros for Fox to handle physical distribution of its theatrical releases. Back in April 2009 Pathé announced that Warner Bros would be handling its theatrical distribution in the UK and Ireland with Fox handling home entertainment. Now Pathé UK bosses Francois Ivernel and Cameron McCracken have decided to put all their oeufs in one basket. The new Fox deal will kick off with one of either two foreign-language titles, Daniel Auteuil’s The Well-Digger’s Daughter or Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In. The Fox deal will cover the 3-4 films Pathé makes each year — filming began yesterday on The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep as Mrs Thatcher –- as well as any French Pathe productions likely to do well in Britain. “We felt it made sense for one studio to manage the licensing process across all rights,” says Ivernel.

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