Co-written and directed by Laurent Tirard (Little Nicholas), the French language film will see actors Edouard Baer and Gérard Depardieu play the title characters Astérix and Obélix respectively with Fabrice Luchini is confirmed in the role of Julius Caesar and Catherine Deneuve starring as Queen of England. The film is a broad adaptation of Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s original 1966 comicbook ‘Asterix in Britain’.
The companies behind the project are French company Fidelite Films, with Marc Missonnier and Olivier Delbosc producing, and Ireland’s Octagon Films. Both companies previously collaborated on the 2008 project ‘Dorothy Mills’ and the more recently with ‘Hideaways’ 2011.
Possible Irish locations to be used include, Brittas Bay, Luggala and Childers Wood in Co Wicklow and Louth’s Listoke Gardens.
The majority of ‘Astérix and Obélix’s featuring scenes for the 3D live action film will be shot on locations across Malta and Hungary over six months. If any 3D live action scenes are to be filmed here it will be the first for Ireland.
Commenting on ‘Astérix and Obélix’s impending arrival to Ireland Naoise Barry Film Commissioner at the Irish Film Board described Ireland as a “go-to destination” in Europe for large international feature and television production with its Section 481 financial incentives and film locations. “Filmmakers like working in Ireland because we have a wide variety of urban and rural film locations within a very small geographic area,” he says. “In London, Paris or New York you need to travel for 6 hours if you want to shoot rural and urban settings in the same day.”
While the arrival of ‘Astérix and Obélix later this year is welcome not enough is been done to ensure that we have suitable studio space to meet demands of modern day filmmaking. As it stands Ardmore is small and needs major investment, one medium sized production ensures they have enough work for most of the year. This may be good for Ardmore but not good if the Film Board is trying to encourage more productions to come here – we need bigger modern studio space.
Despite more than 2 decades of tax payers support, Ireland has failed to develop a sustainable film industry, not enough is being done to develop skills of crew and create a database of all crew which would be available to all Producers arriving in the country. More needs to be done by the Irish Film Board to ensure that freelance crew members are encouraged to remain in the business. Producers have operated a revolving door system which has not necessarily resulted in hiring the best crew, and does not allow them to develop their craft. Art Departments in particularly have suffered terribly by this policy and many have opted to work in other art related businesses. The net result means in recent years we have to hire in art departments from the UK to carry out this work, which adds cost to an Irish production but more importantly we fail to develop a sustainable film Industry.
Categories: Film and TV