Broadcast from this Monday evening on France 2 for four weeks, Le Tour du monde en 80 jours is a new and furiously modern remake of Jules Verne’s great classic. Casting, filming secrets… 5 facts about the series worn by David Tennant.
WHAT DOES IT TALK ABOUT ?
London, 1872. Phileas Fogg, English gentleman, takes this crazy bet: to travel around the world in eighty days. He enlisted the services of Jean Passepartout, a resourceful French waiter. Together, they embark on a journey fraught with pitfalls, closely followed by a young journalist.
After attracting more than 3.5 million viewers last month with Germinal, France 2 attacks another symbol of French literature. This December 20 marks the start of the broadcast of the Around the World in 80 Days. Cut into 8 episodes of 52 minutes and broadcast at the rate of 2 episodes every Monday for 4 weeks, the series is the 10th audiovisual adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel.
After Michael Anderson’s film with David Niven and Shirley McLaine, that of Frank Coraci with Jackie Chan, the series with Jean Le Poulain, with Roger Pierre, and even with Pierce Brosnan, without forgetting the cartoons, Le Tour du monde en 80 days is therefore offered here a new skin. And this from the pen of screenwriters Ashley Pharoah and Caleb Ranson and thanks to the impetus of producer Simon Crawford Collins (MI-5).
A project “ambitious”As described by its producer and creator, punctuated by impeccable special effects and breathtaking sets. A richness that is not only visual, since the man behind the soundtrack is none other than Hans Zimmer himself (The Lion King, Inception, Dune ..), just that!
JOURNEY TO MODERNITY
Released in 1873, Le Tour du monde en 80 jours is almost 150 years old! And if Simon Crawford Collins had the idea of making the public relive this great adventure on the small screen, he especially had in mind to breathe new life into it.
A true rereading of the novel, the series reveals a Phileas Fogg more touching and much less irritating than his literary model. Brilliantly embodied by the brilliant David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch), he reveals much more humanity and psychological cracks skilfully explored during the intrigues.
The iconic explorer is not the only one to have a facelift since the suspicious police officer Fix has been replaced by a female Fix: an intrepid journalist and played by the talented Leonie Benesch (The Crown). In addition to this feminine and feminist touch, Le Tour du monde en 80 jours welcomes Ibrahim Koma in the role of Jean Passepartout, French actor of Malian origin seen in Sous le soleil and OSS 117: Red alert in black Africa.
“Reading the script, it was obvious that you needed a black actor to play this character. It’s also that we wanted to do something new. The themes of racism are very present in the series”, Explains the actor.
FROM BILLIE JEAN TO PHILEAS FOGG
Presented as a world preview at the 2021 edition of CANNESERIES, last October, Around the World in 80 Days immediately wowed its first spectators thanks to its cast, its modern tone and the scale of its sets and its visual effects.
A quality of staging that is not by chance given the CV of its director. At the controls of the series, we find indeed Steve Barron. And if this name means nothing to you, you have nevertheless already seen the work of the Irishman.
It is indeed to him that we owe the realization of some of the clips of the greatest hits of the 80s and 90s, like Africa by Toto, Take on Me by a-ha, I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston, or Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean! He also made a splash in the cinema since he directed the film Ninja Turtles in 1990, Coneheads, the Pinocchio in 1996 with Martin Landau, Treasure Island in 2012…
THE SHOOTING IN 365 DAYS
Started in February 2020, the filming is also an adventure, even if it was surely less pleasant than those shared by Fogg, Fix and Passepartout. As they set down their cameras in South Africa, the teams had to cut everything off after just a month due to the pandemic.
“We could have continued to shoot in South Africa where our sets were, but South Africa was still contaminated, which is why we went to Romania.”, Explains Simon Crawford Collins. Filming was thus able to resume in October 2020 before the team returned to South Africa to finalize everything in early 2021. Or how to film the Around the World in 80 Days in… 365 days!