EXCLUSIVE: After EuropaCorp generated another hit in Taken 3, Luc Besson and Christophe Lambert’s company has hired Barry Sonnenfeld to direct Nine Lives, a high-concept comedy scripted by Daniel Antoniazzi and Ben Shiffrin. The film is about a workaholic businessman who has to figure his way out of a dilemma: A terrible accident leaves him trapped in the body of the family cat. Pic’s being shepherded by EuropaCorp U.S. film president Lisa Ellzey.
The film will be financed and produced by EuropaCorp and will be one of the early releases through Red, the distribution pipeline that EuropaCorp co-owns with Relativity. The distribution venture gets underway with The Transporter Legacy, with the Steven Quale-directed The Lake and the Naomi Watts starrer Shut In coming right behind.
“I’m very excited to be working with Christophe, Lisa, Luc and the rest of the EuropaCorp team on this funny, emotional, commercial comedy,” said Sonnenfeld, who last helmed 2012’s Men In Black 3. “Perhaps I’ll also get over my severe allergy and dislike of cats.”
Taken 3 opened at a weekend-topping $40 million, following the success of EuropaCorp’s smash Lucy. Sonnenfeld’s repped by WME, Mosaic and Ziffren, while the scripters are with UTA, Gotham Group and McKuin, Frankel Whitehead. The writers last worked with EuropaCorp on DNA.