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GKIDS Picks Up 'Mars Express' North American Rights

Animation and sci-fi seem like a match made in heaven. With the creator's imagination the only limitation, wonderful worlds can be created in animation unlike any other. It's a surprise that there isn't more of it. This week GKIDS Films have announced that they have acquired the North American rights to the French sci-fi feature Mars Express.

The feature debut of Jérémie Perin was an official selection at both the Cannes and Annecy festivals this year. It is getting its US Premiere at this year's Animation Is Film Festival in Hollywood.

Perin previously served as a director and producer on several series including CO2, Nini Patalo, and Socks. But he is best known for writing and directing two seasons of the acclaimed series Last Man, adapted from the graphic novel of the same name.

GKIDS will release the film both in its original French language and in a new English dubbed version, with the film due to hit screens some time during 2024. The film will be released in France this November. The deal was negotiated between Rodney Uhler of GKIDS and Olivier Barbier of MK2 Films.  

"Mars Express is a film we have been excited about for years, since we saw the very first footage,"  GKIDS president David Jesteadt said. "This is a timely and provocative story set in one of the greatest animated sci-fi worlds I’ve seen, and we are thrilled to help bring it to North American audiences."

"MK2 Films is thrilled to initiate this collaboration with GKIDS, one of the best independent distributors for animation in North America. Mars Express couldn't dream of finding a better home and support from a team fully dedicated to art," said MK2 Films Head of Acquisition Olivier Barbier.

The film is produced in a hybrid 2D/3D style and has an adrenaline-soaked sci-fi noir style. It shows potential influences from the likes of Blade Runner, Ghost In The Shell and Cowboy Bebop.

The film is set in the year 2200 and follows private detective Aline Ruby and her android partner Carlos Rivera. The duo are hired by a wealthy businessman to track down a notorious hacker. On Mars they explore the planet's underworld, uncovering a darker story of brain farms, corruption and a missing girl who holds a secret about the robots that threatens to change the face of the universe.