In 2014, Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier made their first contribution to the universe of Asterix and Obelix. If “Asterix: The Domain of the Gods” was originally an order, the creator of “Kaamelott” insisted on giving it a more personal dimension.
Asterix: The Domain of the Gods : a whole new formula
Released in 2014, Asterix: The Domain of the Gods acts as an innovation in the cinematic universe of Asterix and Obelix. Directed by Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier, it is all about first Asterix animated film in 3D. A transformation that particularly worried Albert Uderzo. The creator of the little Gaul was indeed afraid that a 3D animation would not bring out the emotion of his characters:
After several months of computer modeling and animation tests, I was finally convinced by the work of young director Louis Clichy and animation director Patrick Delage. Their Obélix character was great and I felt that the technology was now mature enough to make a very big film of the adventures of Asterix in 3D Relief.
The visual rendering ofAsterix: The Domain of the Gods is indeed impressive. With this feature film, Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy adapt the 17th comic by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. It is also about Alexandre Astier’s favorite episodewho signs here the scenario and the co-production of this ninth anime adaptation from the famous cartoon. At last, Asterix: The Domain of the Gods mark it last appearance of Roger Carelhistoric voice actor for Asterix, died on September 11, 2020 at the age of 93.
A transformed commission film
Whether Asterix: The Domain of the Gods is a success, it is largely thanks to the Clichy/Astier duo. Already, Louis Clichy has a huge experience in terms of animation. Before tackling the world of Asterix, he notably worked at Pixar studios as a host on classics like up there and Wall-E. As for Alexandre Astier, there is no need to introduce him. Actor, screenwriter, humorist, director or even musician, he is obviously the creator of the series Kaamelott. With Asterix: The Domain of the Gods he signs his second feature film as a director after David and Mrs. Hansen.
Yet, if Asterix: The Domain of the Gods has become a personal proposal, it is initially a commissioned film. Indeed, during an interview with First, Alexandre Astier explains that the idea for the project did not come from him:
Time passes and I’m afraid that I don’t have enough of a life to do what I want to do. They offer me stuff, but I take nothing. The exception is Asterix. It’s as if Scorsese were calling me tomorrow, I’ll think about it… Goscinny, he’s a very great popular French author, there aren’t too many of them. It’s an honor to be entrusted with something like this.
The creator of Kaamelott also reveals thatAsterix: The Domain of the Gods should be an adaptation ofAsterix in Hispania. But when he arrived on the script, he preferred to change course and adapt another album by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo:
(This is) a command that I modified. Originally I was offered Asterix in Hispania. It’s a great album, but it seemed difficult to make a movie out of it. There is no real villain, the vision of Spain and paid holidays is very sixties… I proposed The Domain of the Godswhich is one of my three favorite albums.
A change that is explained by the origin story. Alexandre Astier assures that he loves the plot ofAsterix: The Domain of the Gods because it allows him to develop Caesar’s darkness and cruelty. Likewise, he appreciates this album because the Gauls have “a propensity to argue with each other” :
The heart of the story is Caesar’s manipulation. Instead of a frontal attack, he chooses to play on the greed of the Gauls and their propensity to argue with each other. It is a – modest – parallel that one can draw with Kaamelott. The Gauls are heroes who don’t get along, they were born to argue. The village is always on the verge of collapsing and The Domain of the Gods tell it very well. It offered real movie stakes.