Largo Winch gets ready for take off
by Fabien Lemercier
Filming kicks off next week on Malta on Jérôme Salle’s second feature Largo Winch, two years after making his promising debut feature Anthony Zimmer (803,000 admissions).
Adapted from a series of eponymous comic strips by Jean Van Hamme and Philippe Francq, the film brings together Tomer Sisley, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Sienna Miller and Olivier Marchal for a thriller in the world of high international finance.
Written by the director and Julien Rappeneau, the story opens with the suspicious death by drowning of Nerio Winch, founder and majority shareholder of the large W. group. Given that the billionaire had no family, the question of inheritance arises.
But Nerio had a secret: 30 years previously he had adopted a boy from a Bosnian orphanage in the utmost secrecy. This son, Largo (Sisley), accused of drug trafficking and claiming his innocency, is in a prison in deepest Amazonia. A murdered father, an imprisoned son: what if these two events were part of the same plot aiming to take control of the Winch empire?
In an interview with Actua BD, Jean Van Hamme, author of the comic strip, described how the project came about. "The fourth draft of the script got my green light, I found the soul of the series in it. The first four albums were freely adapted for the film. We found the spirit of the series in these and the fundamental themes of this film: betrayal, take overs, the adoptive father."
Produced by Nathalie Gastaldo for Pan Européenne on a €25m budget, Largo Winch received co-production and pre-sales funding from TF1 Film Production, as well as co-production support from Wild Bunch, who is also handling international sales.
Filming is set to last 15 weeks, with four weeks in Malta, one week in Sicily and 10 weeks in Hong Kong, where shooting will end in December.
Wild Bunch Distribution will release the title in French cinemas on December 17, 2008.
(Translated from French)
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