In “The Translators”, an editor locks up nine translators of different nationalities in a bunker in order to avoid the slightest leak of his next bestseller. A thriller for which the director Régis Roinsard was inspired by a similar situation organized for the novel “Inferno” by Dan Brown.
Translators : flight prohibited
Seven years after the comedy Popular, the director Régis Roinsard signs his second feature film with Translators. Released in 2020, the film begins with the approach of the publication of a future bestseller: The man who didn’t want to die, the final part of the trilogy Dedalus, by the mysterious writer Oscar Brach.
Eager to preserve his goose that lays golden eggs, publisher Eric Angstrom (Lambert Wilson) imposes particularly strict conditions on the book’s nine translators. Installed in a bunker located under a French mansion, they are obliged to live in seclusion and have no right to any contact with the outside. Enough to guarantee Angstrom colossal revenue.
Three weeks after the translators entered the bunker, the first ten pages of the novel appear on the Web. The hacker behind this leak demands a ransom, threatening to reveal the rest of the book. Determined to flush out the culprit, the publisher will then reveal that his greed has no limit.
Alex Lawther, Olga Kurylenko, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Eduardo Noriega, Ricardo Scamarcio, Frédéric Chau, Anna Maria Sturm, Maria Leite and Manolis Mavromatakis form the team of translators. Sara Giraudeau and Patrick Bauchau complete the prestigious cast of the feature film.
Régis Roinsard inspired by the translation ofInferno
After the release of his first film, Régis Roinsard discovers extraordinary organization set up for the translation ofInferno by Dan Brown. Quoted by Allocine, the filmmaker explains how he found a starting point for the script for Translators :
I came across several articles around the translation of Dan Brown’s book, Inferno. Twelve international translators had been locked up in a bunker in Italy to translate his latest novel. What struck me and fascinated me was that a cultural product needs to be protected as if it were precious stones. From there came the famous’ What if … ‘, specific to the genesis of all fiction:’ What if the book was stolen, pirated despite all the precautions taken? What if we demanded a ransom for not posting it on the Internet? ‘ I had my subject!
A stressful experience
In 2020, Dominique Defert and Carole Delporte remember their experience as translators on the fourth part of the adventures of Robert Langdon, as well as on its sequel Origin. During a round table at the National Book Center (CNL), Dominique Defert tells about their collaboration, as reported Franceinfo :
I got to the bunker first. I had to read the text (600 pages) in English in a day and a half, then summarize it for the editor. And then I made a schedule.
After signing a strong confidentiality contract, the two colleagues separated from their electronic devices, carefully placed in a safe. “To prevent encrypted files from leaving the bunker”, the data on their computers is rigorously deleted. The translator adds:
It was not fun, fifteen people locked for 12 hours (from 9 am to 9 pm) in an open space, without windows. (…) We were by nationality. It was a bit of an Olympic atmosphere with flags on the work tables. Suddenly in the bunker, it was tense. There is stress. Some were losing weight visibly.
An atmosphere conducive to “some paranoia inside the bunker”. The latter is also felt in Régis Roinsard’s Hitchcock thriller. In this environment guarded by two armed guards, they had to create a “cocoon” to overcome the pressure and keep up a trying pace:
Every moment we wondered if we were going to get out of it. We had to translate 22 pages per day. (…) We know that we will be read with a magnifying glass. Editors receive tons of letters pointing out any errors.
An exhausting job during which they therefore had no right to “mess up”.