The production of BigBug was officially announced in Paris on the 17th of January, by Reed Hastings, the creator of Netflix, which will finance the project. The film will be produced by ESKWAD and yours truly, and will be part of a collection of European films, one per country, filmed in the country’s language.
My entire team is on the warpath: decoration, sound, images, costumes, editing etc. The cast will be made up of Claire Chust, Elsa Zilberstein, Alban Lenoir, Manu Payet, Isabelle Nanty, Youssef Hajdi, Claude Perron, François Levantal, and two teenagers: Marysol Fertard and Helie Thonnat.
It’s a science fiction comedy, in a closed setting, with humans, androids and mechanical robots.
During this project I experienced (all modesty aside) the same thing as Scorsese with The Irishman. I have been toting this script around in France for 4 years, and it has been rejected by all (as were Delicatessen and Amelie in their time). And like Amelie, Brigitte Maccioni of UGC fell in love with it and wanted to produce it. But she wasn’t able to because, obviously, a French comedy with robots doesn’t fit in a nice, tidy box.
And then one day David Kosse from Netflix wrote to me from London asking me if I might have a project…
A resounding “yes” with a big smile came back just 24 hours later!
Since then we have been living a dream. Enthusiastic teams, total freedom, sufficient budget. The fact that BigBug will not be released in theaters is not a problem, because unlike, for example TS Spivet, which was shot in 3D in wide-open American spaces, it is particularly suitable for small screens and TV. And I must admit that the idea of not having to face a cinema release, with the box-office figures coming in, cleaver-like, at 10 in the morning, is rather a relief. Knowing that 138 million subscribers will be able to see the film is extremely exciting!
No, these new platforms are not going to kill cinema, because technologies accumulate and complement each other, they don’t replace each other. After all, cinema has never killed the theater, and there are still black and white films being made…
Filming begins April 27, for a release in March 2021.
And then, 2 other feature film projects which are seemingly of interest to producers: a series, and for Amelie’s 20 year anniversary, a fake documentary that will be completely crazy and hilarious!