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Wednesday November 18, 2009 3:18 am

Good Luc: Besson Meets Tardi!




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Movies

Louise BourgoinWriter-Director Luc Besson (he of The Professional and The Fifth Element) will be adapting the graphic albums of Jacques Tardi (the brilliant French illustrator and storyteller). Now there’s a mash-up made in geek heaven.

Besson is currently in post-production on Les Aventures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec, or The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Dry-White for us language heathens. And how extraordinary are those adventures? Glad you asked! Adele is a reporter in WWI Paris who ends up battling mummies, monsters, weird cults and pulpish scientists. If this sounds a little La Femme Indiana Jones, you would not be incorrect. This is the first movie in a proposed trilogy.

The film is based on a series of albums by Tardi. The albums have been published in Europe since 1976 and there are 9 in the series so far (the latest in 2007), so there’s a lot of material to pull from. I don’t read or speak anything other than English, but if you’ve got a touch of the bilingual, there’s an extraordinary fan-site on Adele that’s worth checking out. (If you’re a poorly-educated rube like me, you can still marvel at the pictures.)

In Besson’s movie, Former French weather girl turned actress Louise Bourgoin (The Girl From Monaco) is playing the title role. Variety once wrote of Louise that she has “a bod kissed by Aphrodite.” Let’s hope that bod can kick monster-butt. Angelina Jolie has raised “female butt-kickin’ action star” to a high-grossing artform so Louise and Luc have their work cut out for them.

Besson wrote the script and directed, and the first film is scheduled for European release in the Spring of 2010. So we’ve got turn-of-the-last-century Paris architecture, monsters and weird stuff, and a heroine who kicks it old school. I’m in and so is the 13-year-old me that lives inside my head.

[A couple of Tardi’s Adele albums have been published in English by NBM/Dark Horse and while they are out of print, you can find them at Amazon. Fantagraphics Books is releasing several of Tardi’s albums - though not Adele, not yet anyway - through a publishing program they’ve already started. Editor Kim Thompson talks about that in an interview with Tom Spurgeon.]

[Artwork: Photo of Louise Bourgoin, from The Girl From Monaco]

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