The Vincent


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A hero celebrated on paper and screen
A popular and imaginary character of the 17th century appeared in various songs. Fanfan la Tulipe was an adventurer with a big heart, a lover of wine and pretty women. He was the hero of several feature-length French films. It was made twice as a silent black and white film, first in 1907 by Alice Guy, and then in 1925 by Rene Leprince. In 1952, the adventure comedy was directed Christian-Jaque and became a cinema success starring Gerard Philipe and Gina Lollobrigida. It was followed by a series of comic strips published in The Intrepid One and Pif. Finally in 2002, Luc Besson launched a remake of the 1952 version with  Gerard Krawczyk as director with a new screenplay by Jean Cosmos and Luc Besson.

A faithful but modern remake
According to the words of producer Michel Feller: "Our ambition was to satisfy at the same time those who knew the adventures of Fanfan and those who will discover them. Without betraying the film of Christian-Jaque, we wanted to adapt it to the tone of our time. Fifty years have passed between the two films and much has changed."

An actor's dream
Actor Vincent Perez comments: "In the office of my agent, there is a wall with the poster of Christian-Jaque's film with Gerald Philipe. Through the years, I saw this image, and I must admit that I often dreamed of playing this character."

During 85 days during a period of over five months, the team of Fanfan the Tulipe filmed on location in the French countryside near Rodez and the Loire, and in a castle built by Epinay Studios.

How to outfit the cast
With more than 600 costumes,  the tulip constitutes a true academic case. Olivier Beriot and his team was in charge of creating more than 600 costumes for the 16 principal roles and the rest of the ensemble.

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1/10/02: Vincent will star in the new film adaptation of the adventures of Fanfan la Tulipe. Gerard Philipe and Gina Lollobrigida toplined the 1952 picture, a French swashbuckler set in the 18th century under the reign of Louis XV. Luc Besson co-wrote the screenplay with Jean Comos and will also produce. The picture will be directed by Besson collaborator Gerard Krawczyk.

5/21/02: Penelope Cruz will play the mischievous and charming Adeline, who dupes Fanfan into joining the French army by predicting that, if he does, he will end up marrying one of the king's daughters. It's official filming schedule is from June 19 to mid-October.

Having practiced fencing for twenty years, Vincent, in the title role, will be able to show off his skills in the scenes of combat. Other cast members include Didier Bourdon as Louis XV, Helene De Fougerolles as Madame de Pompadour, and Michael Muller as Tranche de Montagne.

9/06/02: According to the French media, filming has been going on all summer in Areyron, often referred to as one of the most beautiful places in France. On Wednesday the cast and crew arrived in Onet-le-Château near Rodez where they will spend several days. The filmmakers are using the greatest discretion as they descend upon this small village.

11/10/02: Fanfan la Tulipe is now in post-production. Director Gerard Krawczyk promises an aesthetic look with natural settings. Vincent trained six hours a day in acrobatics, juggling and combat with the sword. This was all orchestrated by his fencing master, Michel Carliez, who also trained him for Le Bossu. Look for a premiere date of April 9, 2003.

3/28/03: Fanfan la Tulipe will open this year's Festival de Cannes... The film will screen Out of Competition at the 56th edition of Cannes, which runs May 14-25. Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, co-founder and chief operating officer of EuropaCorp, said the first print of the film arrived at EuropaCorp's Paris office Wednesday morning. "We screened the film for the first time with the representatives of the film festival present. Over the course of a three-hour lunch, we came to the decision that Fanfan la Tulipe would open the festival," an emotional Le Pogam said. "We are nothing else but thrilled. We're so proud of the film. It's delightful."

As a result of the selection, the film's April 9 release in France has been pushed back to coincide with the opening of the festival. "This is the right thing to do," Le Pogam said. "The movie deserves it." The announcement is expected to help Tulipe's worldwide distribution efforts.