Cult Comic Book ‘The Yellow M’ Set For Live Action Adaptation With Belga Films Group & Cédric Nicolas-Troyan

EXCLUSIVE: Top Belgian distribution and production company Belga Films Group is teaming up with French director Cédric Nicolas-Troyan on an English-language, live action adaptation of the iconic, European comic book The Yellow M.

Nicolas-Troyan’s previous credits include the 2016 fantasy action-adventure tale The Huntsman: Winter’s War as well as Netflix’s action hit Kate and recently launched French-language series Furies.

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The Yellow M is the sixth volume in Belgian artist Edgar P. Jacobs’ popular 1950s comic book series Blake and Mortimer, about the adventures of MI5 Captain Francis Blake and his scientist friend Philip Mortimer.

The cult series is considered a masterpiece of ligneclaire (the drawing style pioneered by Tintin creator Hergé) and has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 15 languages. Franco-Belgian publishing house Dargaud – Le Lombard owns the rights to the comic strip.

Nicolas-Troyan, who is represented by CAA, will produce alongside Patrick Vandenbosch and Jean-Jacques Neira for Belga Studios, an affiliate company of the Belga Films Group.

Production is slated to begin in the fall with Emmy and Bafta-nominated U.K. casting director Kate Rhodes James (Napoleon, House of the Dragon) attached to the project.

Dutch director and writer Jan Kounen (Flight of the Storks, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinksy) and Jay Ferguson co-wrote the screenplay adaptation with revisions by Nicolas-Troyan.

“We are thrilled to embark on this cinematic journey with such a visionary director as Cédric,” said Belga Films Group CEO Vandenbosch.

“Fans can rest assured that The Yellow M will be a cinematic spectacle, delivering a smart, entertaining, and visually inventive new chapter that, for sure, will captivate the widest audience.”

Set in London in 1953, The Yellow M follows Blake and Mortimer as they find themselves inextricably and dangerously entangled with a mysterious criminal figure called “M” and his mind-hacking technology.

“The strength of the comics lies in its themes, still resonating today,” said producer Neira. “Brain control through screens endangers our democracies more than ever. As we grapple with the importance of moral responsibility, ‘M’ offers a timely reminder to embrace critical thinking and positive impact in our era dominated by screens.”

Nicolas-Troyan has promised to breathe new life into The Yellow M and its gallery of characters led by Blake and Mortimer.

“I grew up with these characters, they are a big deal. They have been around for a while and beloved by many.  So, obviously, I’m committed to honoring the comics and bring this rich and colorful universe to life while giving it a contemporary touch with plenty of heart and action,” he said.

“I’m also very excited by the creative freedom allowed on such a European independent production. So, when Belga Films approached me to direct and produce such an iconic property it was impossible for me to pass on the opportunity.”

Founded in 1937, Belga Films is Belgium’s oldest and biggest independent film distributor with past releases including Twilight, 12 Years a Slave, Lucy, Taken, The Hunger Games, John Wick, La La Land, Paddington and Knives Out.

The company has extended its activities to the development of feature films in French and English via its subsidiary Belga Studios. It is also a reference shareholder of renowned Belgian animation studio nWave.

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