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Asterix at the Olympic Games - The film
From comic book to film



From comic book to film : the full story

Adapted from the album Asterix at the Olympic Games, published in 1968, the film of the same name reprises some of the key scenes but also introduces its fair share of novelties and twists to keep spectators on the edge of their seats for nearly two hours!
Our Gaulish experts have studied the matter carefully and present you with this exclusive page detailing their conclusions comparing the film and the comic book.

Asterix's and Obelix's meeting with Gluteus Maximus

It's a well-known fact: Gluteus Maximus is a huge champion, the quickest man in all the Roman Empire. However, it takes more than that to impress our indomitable Gauls, who jog along mockingly at his side. As in the comic book, the film uses the best special effects druid technology can engineer to reproduce the scene as originally drawn by Albert Uderzo.

We are also pleased to note that Gluteus Maximus' javelin-throwing duel with Obelix is reproduced as well.

Olympia

Above all, the Games are a superb chance for our Gaulish friends to discover the incredible city of Olympia. Presented in detail in the album, courtesy of the wonderful brushstrokes of Albert Uderzo, the ancient city comes to life once again in superb fashion thanks to the meticulous and talented work of the technical and artistic film personnel.

The athletes' training sessions

It takes more than just luck to become a champion! The film, like the comic book, presents us with scenes of the athletes' training sessions in full swing.

The procession of athletes

There are more nations represented and we see Lovesix bearing the Gallo-Roman flag into the stadium, instead of Asterix. But in the film, just like in the comic book, the enthusiasm of the crowd cannot be denied.

The events

In the album, only the running, wrestling, all-in wrestling and boxing events are depicted. These also appear in the film, along with other events from the ancient Games.
Whilst one of them is from Rhodes and the other represents Rome, a similar efficiency can be seen in the two wrestlers Neuroses (in the album) and Humungus (in the film).


The judges

Sitting on the starting line and awarding laurels to the victors of each event, the judges and officials are equally present in the album and the film. One of the most prominent among them is Saintpancras, the Olympic magistrate in the album, along with Alpha, Beta and Omega, the "incorruptible" judges in the film.

A purple passage in the album is the impassioned debate between the judges, referees, priests and officials in the Bouleuterion, the Olympic senate, under the jurisdiction of Philibuster, the great speechmaker. In the film, the scenes where Brutus intimidates the judges are particularly titillating!

Testing for the magic potion

The judges are very clear: no cheating will be tolerated, and participants are consequently formally forbidden from using Getafix's magic potion. Although the film introduces the "beetle test", it remains true to the album in the blue on the athletes' tongues…




The chariot race


Whilst it is the crowning event in the film, the chariot race is conspicuous by its absence in the Asterix at the Olympic Games album. But this great moment is reminiscent of the feats of Asterix and Obelix in chariot races that take place in the Asterix the Gladiator album, a grand moment imagined during the partnership of René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo.


Furthermore, the Gothic chariot driven in the film by the talented driver Michael Schumacher brings to mind the famous company in Mediolanum (Milan), which was behind the sports chariots manufactured for the young Lutetian Justforkix in Asterix and the Normans.
And let us not forget that Albert Uderzo, a great admirer of motor sports, had already made this superb drawing - a wonderful caricature of Michael Schumacher.

The balcony scene

In the film Lovesix and Irina provide us with a memorable romantic scene, slightly spoiled by Brutus' arrival. There are no love scenes in the Asterix at the Olympic Games album, but Albert Uderzo dreamed up a similar scene between Histrionix and Melodrama in the Asterix and the Great Divide album. It's also rumoured that Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet may have something to do with the romantic use of a lady's balcony…

The final banquet



No Asterix adventure would be complete without the celebratory banquet. But while the bard Cacofonix had the rare honour of appearing in the Asterix at the Olympic Games album banquet, his attempts to sing in the film earn him the punishment to which he has become accustomed: tied up without any further ado by his unsympathetic audience and left alone to observe the celebrations!


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