When you grow up in Europe as I did, Asterix and Tintin graphic novels are an inevitable part of the fabric of your youth, to the point that the realization they aren’t over here was quite a surprise. Tintin perhaps more so than Asterix, as it’s set in a more-or-less “real” world, and of course it’s the one that got a Spielberg film. Asterix, which depends more on punny names and a basic working knowledge of the history surrounding Julius Caesar, has been filmed many times but none have made it to the U.S., so I have no idea if casting Gerard Depardieu as Obelix was a good idea in live-action. My inclination, however, is to say that Asterix was never meant for live-action, and I’m glad to see that the folks with the movie rights are taking it back to a style that resembles the comics now.
For those who don’t know, the premise of Asterix is that in 55 BC, the Roman Empire has conquered all of France except for one tiny village that holds out due to the locals having a magic potion that gives them super strength. Wise-yet-small Asterix and big, dumb Obelix lead the charge, fist-fighting their way through fully armed Roman legions on a regular basis.
The teaser below, which is in French, won’t tell you any of that, but it seems to me to capture the tone fairly well…