Paramount Scraps Release of Animated 'Little Prince'

The Little Prince - H 2016
Courtesy of Cannes

Paramount Pictures won’t handle the U.S. release of animated film The Little Prince, which was set to hit U.S. theaters less than a week from now on March 18.

Helmer Mark Osborne, the Oscar-nominated co-director of Kung Fu Panda, confirmed the news via Twitter.

Osborne wrote in four consecutive tweets: "Many thanks to everyone for the outpouring of love and support in these strange times. ...  As it turns out, the much anticipated U.S. release of this special and unique film will have to be anticipated just a little bit more. ... All I can say is #thelittleprince will in fact be released by another distributor later this year. ... Until then, head to Canada! The film opens there in wide release this weekend!"

Based on the 1943 book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the pic premiered out of competition at Cannes last year and has earned roughly $80 million overseas, where it was handled by various distributors. Last month, it was awarded France’s Cesar Award for best animated film.

Little Prince combines 3D computer animation and stop-motion, and has a voice cast that includes Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco and Benicio del Toro.

Paramount had not locked in a release plan for the film in terms of whether it would have been a limited play or roll out nationwide. The studio's international arm handled the release of the film in France in summer 2015.

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Paramount for comment.