Match a novel Jules Verne Being on TV or in the movies is no small matter. However, we can no longer count the number of films or series inspired by the works of the French author, such as “20,000 Leagues Under the Seas”, “Michael Strogoff” or “Journey of the Earth”. Let’s quote too “
Around the world in 80 days », A very complex adventure story to the stage, requires a ton of sets, each more engaging than the next, and many more actors and more. A real technical challenge that many directors do not hesitate to take up one day.
Sixty-five years after the first adaptation, it was signed by Michael Anderson, who won the 1957 Oscar for Best Picture. Cartoons and telefilms were broadcast in France. In the 1970s and 1980s, in the United States, a series emerged in 1989, with Pierce Brosnan in the role of Philius Fogg, and Passportout in Monty Python’s Eric Id and Camping Loose on Ariel Dombas.
In a blockbuster led by Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the myth was not seen on the big screen again until 2004, not to mention the French-speaking Cecilia de France and Michael Eun. Because a good remake of “Around the World in 80 Days” needs international distribution.
A criterion by director Steve Barron, who has been working since 2019 on re-reading “Around the World” with three European actors: Scottish David Tennant (“Doctor Who”), French Ibrahim Coma (“Le Crocodile du Botswanga”) and German Leoni in “Leone” ). Given that this British work was produced by the Alliance of European Public Channels, a cast made in Europe seems very logical. In the form of a series, it is finally going to be unveiled worldwide, here on December 5th. Its eight episodes will air on the front page twice a week.
After three years of hard work, Steve Barron is no doubt proud to present his project to the public. The creator of popular music videos such as Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean”, the filmmaker is very familiar with adaptations (“Pinocchio”, “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “Merlin”). The Irishman certainly did not expect such a challenge, especially as the health crisis became a surprise guest. The first scenes were filmed in February 2020, but were interrupted by filming in Romania and South Africa.
A modern version
Like previous adaptations of Jules Verne’s book, this re-reading allows itself many freedoms. For example, Mrs. Auda, an Indian who accompanies Philias and his wallet passport out on the trip, is only a secondary character here, “replaced” by journalist Abigail Fix, who reports on the trip, played by Leonie Benesh. As for Passportout, his first role was as Ibrahim Koma, an actor of Malian descent. The character of Filius Fog, played by David Tennant, is very similar to the gentleman described by Jules Verne. The route and locomotion methods used in the novel are generally respected. As for the plot, it is still in its 1872s, but some original elements have been removed or upgraded.
“Around the World in the 80s”, Sunday, December 5, 8:55 pm, front page
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