Sony Picks Up Chomet’s <em>Illusionist</em> Sony Picks Up Chomet’s <em>Illusionist</em>
Feature Film

Sony Picks Up Chomet’s Illusionist


Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) has acquired Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist for North American distribution. They’re planning a US release by the end of this year. SPC was also the US distributor of Chomet’s first feature The Triplets of Belleville.

(Thanks, Victor Ens)

  • AWESOME! This is great news! I can’t wait to see this film!

  • The Triplets of Belleville,Persepolis… Thanks Sony classics!

  • Steve Gattuso

    WOO HOO!

    Now _this_ is the kind of thing you should be focusing on, Amid.

  • NC


  • Bob Harper

    Where do I buy tickets already!!!

  • Absolutely fantastic news! CANNOT WAIT to be sitting in a theater watching this.

  • Craig

    Goes against Sony’s parent company everything is 3D this year

  • Very nice news. I hope the release is wide enough that a good print makes it out to the provinces. I’m still seeing a lot of releases on film at the local quasi-art house cinema (the town’s not big or pinko enough for a dyed in the wool art house cinema).

  • N Chambers

    Shamefully the movie ignores that Tati had originally wrote the script as a heartfelt apology to his eldest daughter who he had abandoned in Paris during the Second World War and who today is very much still alive living herself on the Scottish Boarders. At the Berlin premier Chomet showed a complete lack of compassion by spitefully dedicating the movie to Tati deceased youngest daughter under the heading “A father love to his daughter”.

    A very ugly situation however nice the imagery might first appear.

  • This is excellent news. Sony Pictures Classics did a fine job releasing “Triplets of Belleville” and “Persepolis.” “The Illusionist” is in good hands.

  • ben colbourn

    awesome news! cant wait to see it

  • Please will this be worldwide?

  • Elvis Pudovkin

    “Triplets” must have made some money for Sony, or they’d not touch this film.

  • Been waiting for 2 years for this. CAN”T WAIT!
    @Elvis- Triplets made a pretty great amount of money on its international release, hence funding Chomet’s animation studio in Scotland!

  • Credo

    How much business in ticket sales do you really see this doing in North America?

    Let’s not forget Triplets very much rode on the back of a certain Mr Armstrong dominating a certain bike race.

  • Sounds good, looking forward to this one.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    “Very nice news. I hope the release is wide enough that a good print makes it out to the provinces. I’m still seeing a lot of releases on film at the local quasi-art house cinema (the town’s not big or pinko enough for a dyed in the wool art house cinema).”

    I was lucky enough to see “Triplets” when it made the rounds back back in the naughts. The theater situation in my town has changed a bit since some cinemas were closed and others opened up, I may not be as lucky this time if they chose to play it far away from my normal location.


  • The film is done by an Oscar nominated modern master of animation. I think he’ll at least make his money back. The major fuck up on Sony’s part would be if they didn’t market it correctly. The trailers and teasers for Triplets were swinging and jiving, and a lot of original images caught the viewers’ eyes immediately. I think if they grab the right bits from The Illusionist, it has the power to do the same.

    As far as the Berlin premier comment regarding his daughter, don’t you think he might’ve been doing it for both his daughter as well as Tati’s deceased one?

  • Brad Constantine

    Thanks bosses!!

  • John

    The script was wriiten by an Oscar winning director as a bridge to his estranged daughter.

    “doing it for both his daughter as well as Tati’s deceased one?”

    Taking a dead man’s apology to his orphaned daughter and using it as a gift to your own child. Isn’t that just a little sick? Especially when the daughter who it was originally intended for is alive and well.

    How must Tati’s abandoned daughter feel about this intrusion?

  • Joe G

    I would also like to bring the attention to SPC if they could also handle the distribution for Nocturna,Lucky Luke Goes West,and the Asterix animated movies,forget the live action.

  • DJM

    Didn’t Tati’s daughter (or a relative) personally seek out Chomet?

  • DJM

    Joe G,

    I saw Nocturna at a children’s festival a few years back, and while it was very pretty, it was one of the most hackneyed and & emotionless films I ever witnessed. Horrible film.

    However, I did import Lucky Luke, and, DAMN, that needs to be brought over! That would bring back 2D faster than whatever pablum Disney decides to churn out.

  • PG

    No Tati’s daughter did no seek out Chomet. If anything it was the opposite way around.

    Chomet never received the script from Tati’s youngest daughter Sophie Tatischeff. Publicity literature that was given out at the Berlin Premier says Chomet only ever talked to Sophie 6 months before she died in 2001 when he was seeking permission to use a clip of Tati in Triplets. The script was handed to him as an option after Triplets was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003 by the wardens of the Tati estate, not relations and not Sophie Tatischeff.

  • Peter H

    Just to clarify the ‘daughters’ story:

    As I understand it, Tati’s eldest daughter, Helga, was the result of an affair with a fellow music hall performer, Austrian-born Herta Schiel, in Paris in 1941. Advised by his sister not to marry for his career’s sake, he paid Herta to release him from paternal responsibility, and never saw his daughter again.

    The scandal this provoked in Paris forced him to leave the theatre for a while.

    Helga attempted to contact her father after the war, but it is believed that Tati was too ashamed to meet her. He did, however, write the script for “l’Illusionniste” after this – apparently as a form of apology.

    After his death his youngest daughter, Sophie, a film director who started her career editing her father’s later films, bought the rights to Tati’s works (lost when his production company went bankrupt) and started actively promoting them. It is possible that she did suggest, or at least mention, “l’Illusionniste” to Chomet when he contacted her about using a clip of Tati in “Triplets”.

  • Elliot

    Tati had originally wrote the story of The Illusionist (L’Illusionniste) as a depressed semi autobiographical reflection about how he was feeling about himself at the time, setting in of old age, the moving of time from one generation to the next and was originally intended as an apology to his eldest daughter who he had abandoned under duress from his sister during the Second World War. Tati wrote the The Illusionist with his long time collaborator Henri Marquet who he had retreated to Sainte-Severe with after he was thrown out of the Paris cabaret circuit for the way he had failed both his lover and his first child.

  • ZAR

    Better to wait and compare with the French and Benelux DVD/BD-releases as Sony has a certain tendency to hold back extra material for another “special edition”-treatment further down the lane…

    And, as a sidenote, apart from the French HD-DVD Triplettes de Belleville has not (yet) been released in HD!

  • I saw the first 15 minutes of this wonderful film at Cartoon Movie in March.

    You will not be disappointed.

    I want to see the rest :-)


  • SPK

    Why is this not showing, or was given its birth at Cannes this year? Seems odd for such an iconic French production not to be given the honour of the riviera. Is this an indication that The Ilusionist isn’t that hot or is something else a miss?

  • Raymond Lang

    SPK – The film was shown at Cannes this year. Roger Ebert wrote about it in his Cannes reports on his blog site, and was very taken with the film (the lead for the article is “A magical curtain for Jacques Tati”). You can’t get better press for an upcoming film (remember what he did for “Sita Sings the Blues”, too…)

  • SPK


    What I meant was that it was not in any official selection at Cannes which is quite strange considering its iconic history and that Cannes 2002 was a dedicated retrospective to the movies of Tati.

    This years Cannes screening of The Illusionist was a minor marketing screening far away from the glamour of the main event, it does not feature at all on the Cannes official website.

    I wouldn’t take to much note of Roger Eberts review of The Illusionist as it is slanted to support his anti 3d crusade that he is currently on.