The Gallic Invasion
The latest in the lucrative Astérix franchise, the £50million Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia will open the French Film Festival UK with premieres in four cities – London (Ciné Lumière), Edinburgh (Filmhouse), Glasgow (GFT) and Dundee (DCA) on 8, 9, 10 and 11 November respectively.
The spectacular extravaganza adapted from René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s original 1966 comic book Astérix in Britain features a stellar cast with Edouard Baer as Astérix, Gérard Depardieu as his rotund sidekick Obélix and Catherine Deneuve incarnating the Queen of England.
The film only opens in France on 17 October and had its avant-première at the British Film Festival in Dinard, the FFF UK’s opposite number across the Channel.
The fourth instalment of the franchise follows the glorious legions of Rome led by Julius Caesar as they invade Britain. Astérix and Obélix cross the Channel to help Anticlimax and the Queen of the Britons stand strong against the invading Romans. The year is 50 BC and Caesar is hungry for new conquests … but naturally there is a certain resistance.
Like Braveheart before it, the production was partly filmed in Ireland doubling for Scottish locations.
The Festival organisers have invited guests from the film team – and await confirmations.
The 20th edition of the annual Festival (from 8 November to 2 December) which originally began in Scotland’s leading cinemas Edinburgh Filmhouse and Glasgow Film Theatre before encompassing many other location across the UK including a strong London, features a bumper programme of retrospectives and tributes (Chantal Akerman and Jacques Demy) and particular close-ups on aspects of francophone cinema with a special Québec strand.
Richard Mowe, director and co-founder of the event said “It’s difficult to believe that two decades have flown by – almost in a flash.” Mowe who has received one of France’s highest honours (Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres from the Ministry of Culture) for his work, continued: “After The Artist and Untouchable French cinema is on roll. The new Astérix will set us off with a high profile bang – and the rest of the programme is as vital and varied as ever.”