Original title: Astérix et Obélix contre César
Scenario: Claude Zidi, based on the comic strips by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
Produced by: RENN PRODUCTIONS, KATARINA FILMS, BAVARIA FILMS
Directed by: Claude Zidi
Running time: 105min
Video distribution: PATHE
The film, a huge success, is the first in the series to be made with flesh and blood actors (and by no means unknown ones: Gérard Depardieu as Obelix and Christian Clavier as Astérix in the lead roles, Laetitia Casta as Panacea and Roberto Benigni a spicy Detritus). The story had never been published but the film has a sprinkling of key scenes and characters from various albums.
What the druids have to say about the film
Now all comic strip authors dream of having their work made into live-action films! And judging by current projects, quite a few will be attempting to follow Asterix’s example.
Just for the record, it is interesting to know that the project came into being in 1994, when Thomas Langmann, Claude Berri’s son, came across the fantastic results of a communication campaign for Asterix cassettes. This was organised by Eleuthera, the public relations agent for Les Editions Albert René from 1990 to 1997, and Gaumont Video. In September 1993, to mark the beginning of the school year, they were selling an album of short Asterix stories in a package with the first three Asterix video films. Sales reached astronomical proportions: 900,000 cassettes snapped up in a few weeks! So Thomas contacted Sylvie Uderzo, director of Les Editions, who immediately saw the sense of the project. Together they endeavoured to convince the ‘big bosses’. But neither Claude Berri nor Albert Uderzo wanted to know anything about a plan for a live-action Asterix film! However, they had changed their minds by the end of a historic lunch. But that’s another story!