French director Olivier Assayas made a hit with his 1996 meta-film drama “Irma Vep.” Hong Kong icon Maggie Cheung starred in the French film, played by Jean-Pierre Leaud, the director of Louis Feuillade who is trying to remake the classic silent film series “Les Vampires”. A thesis on Hollywood? A satire about the French film industry? A meta exercise in negotiations between a great actress and a serious director? The movie was absolutely everything.
Now, Olivier Assayas is remaking his own movie for television with “Irma Vep,” set to hit HBO and HBO Max on June 6, and stars Alicia Vikander in the role played by Cheung. The series will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. “Irma Vep” was produced in partnership with A24. Vikander finds himself playing a disillusioned American movie star who comes to France to star in the remake of “Les Vampires”, “Irma Vep,” and is dizzy from the breakup. Against the backdrop of a crime thriller, the lines begin to blur and Mira’s character returns to where she started.
The series also stars Vincent Macaigne as René Vidal, the director of the film-within-a-film, along with Oscar winner Vikander (“The Danish Girl”). Meanwhile, Jeanne Balibar plays Zoe, Mira’s former assistant and ex-girlfriend. Devon Ross stars as Mira’s current assistant Regina, Carrie Brownstein plays Mira’s manager Zelda, who doesn’t support the “Les Vampires” project, and Fala Chen stars as Mira’s lead actress, Cynthia Keng. Tom Sturridge plays Mira’s ex-boyfriend, Eamonn. Previously, Jerrod Carmichael was in the role but was replaced by Sturridge due to scheduling conflicts.
Assayas is no stranger to platforms, although not all of its projects are defiantly commercial. His last movie was “Wasp Network” which went to Netflix in 2019. The series is executive produced by Assayas, as well as Vikander, Sylvie Barthet, Daniel Delume, Ravi Nandan, Hallie Sekoff, Kevin Turen, Stuart Manashil, Sam Levinson and Ashley Levinson. Turen, Sam Levinson, HBO and A24 previously “EuphoriaHe also collaborated.