It was never called “The Little Lost Prince,” but that’s how things were looking last week when Paramount dropped its distribution deal for the animated version of Antoine Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince, mere days before the animated film’s scheduled US theatrical release.
Fortunately, a knight in shining armor was on the way to save the day in the shape of global home television content provider, Netflix.
From Deadline Hollywood:
The move at least assures U.S. [audiences] will get to see the animated adaptation of Antoine Saint-Exupery’s classic, even if on a smaller screen than the producers may have originally intended and indeed told international buyers when pre-selling the film. The promise of a wide domestic release through a studio had been a key part of the producers’ pitch to investors and buyers when the ambitious film was being put together. Wild Bunch handled international sales, scoring very impressive numbers, but the Paramount deal was done directly through the producers.
Paramount’s decision to drop the film came out of blue and left both the director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda) and producers Dimitri Rassam and Aton Soumache surprised. Multiple inquiries to the filmmaking team were met with stony silence, the consequence perhaps of a legal binding not to disclose the film’s future destination.
This despite the fact that the film opened to raves and piles of European cash in 2015:
The Little Prince, which premiered last year out of competition to respectable reviews, has performed well in its native France and other international territories, earning $100 million to date. The film boasts a stellar voice cast, including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco and Benicio del Toro. Paramount’s French arm released the film in France.
The full piece is here.