Joan of Arc story brought to life in $4m animated feature

French producer Program33 is working on a feature-length animation project “The Joan of Arc’s Case,” with a budget of around €3.5 million ($4 million), Variety reports.

Program33 has two feature-length animation docudramas under its belt – The Last Stand (2015), about the defeat of the Gauls by the Romans, and Building Notre Dame (2019), set in the Middle Ages.

According to the report both projects enjoyed a strong international response, in particular Notre Dame, with high ratings on PBS in the U.S., and good results in Canada, Germany and Belgium. In France it had four million viewers on its first showing and a further 10 million viewers from repeat screenings, with a much broader audience demographic than classic documentaries.

Joan of Arc has inspired multiple film and TV adaptations, including Luc Besson’s 2019 epic drama. Program33 aims to offer a new angle on the story based on the historical records of the rehabilitation and canonization process by the Catholic church, 25 years after she was burnt at the stake, in 1431.

“Alongside the epic dimension, we want to focus on the political dimension,” explains Michel Spavone, producer at Program33. “She aided Charles VII, by driving the English out of France. Her rehabilitation involved complex political factors between the monarchy and the church, which most people are unaware of.”

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