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Jeff Bridges, James Franco, Rachel McAdams Sign on for ‘Little Prince’ Movie

Mark Deming
Movie Talk
June 6, 2013
James Franco and Rachel McAdams have been cast in 'The Little Prince'
James Franco and Rachel McAdams have been cast in 'The Little Prince'

An enduring literary classic, beloved by children and adults alike, is being adapted for the big screen, with a star-studded cast to bring it to life.

Onyx Films has announced they’re making a new animated film version of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's classic fable "The Little Prince."

Two Academy Award-winning actors have already been confirmed for the voice cast – Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") and Benicio Del Toro ("Traffic") – while a third, Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose"), is reported to be in talks with producers. James Franco, Paul Giamatti, and Rachel McAdams will also be voicing characters in the film.

Mackenzie Foy
Mackenzie Foy

We know Bridges is voicing the pilot -- who crashes his aircraft in the middle of the Sahara and meets up with the famed little prince. But no other specifics have been announced on who will be playing who (though it is believed Cotillard is aiming to voice the part of the mysterious rose loved by Le Petit Prince).

What's interesting is the additional casting of 12-year-old Mackenzie Foy (of the "Twilight" series). Will she be voicing the part of the beloved little prince? She seems a likely candidate.

First published in 1943, "The Little Prince" is a short French novel about a pilot stranded in the desert. The pilot happens upon a young boy, who fell to earth from a small asteroid that was his home. As the pilot and the "little prince" share stories, the boy tells him of the inhabitants of other asteroids he has visited, and the tales take the form of moral fables about various aspects of life. Since it first appeared, "The Little Prince" has sold over 140 million copies and has been translated into over 200 languages. While written in a manner easily understood by children, the story's insights have made it a favorite with grown ups as well, adding to its reputation as a 20th Century classic.

The Little Prince
The Little Prince

While this may be the most prestigious effort to bring "The Little Prince" to the screen, it's hardly the first. In 1974, Stanley Donen ("Singin' In The Rain," "Charade") directed a live-action version of the story that featured Gene Wilder, Bob Fosse, and Victor Spinetti, while animator Will Vinton made a short clay-animated adaptation in 1979. Most recently, a French animated television series adapted from the book ran from 2010 to 2012.

Producers Aton Soumache and Dimitri Rassam have secured director Mark Osborne for the upcoming project, best known for the 2008 hit "Kung Fu Panda."