To recap… it’s an upcoming new French comedy titled Intouchables (Untouchables). It made its world premiere as the closing night film at the 59th San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain last month, and, from all I’ve heard and read, was very well received.
Also worth noting is that Harvey Weinstein and his Weinstein Company have acquired both stateside distribution rights to the original film AND the English-language remake rights to the film; I’ll be watching out for one.
The film, which is said to be based on a “funny and moving” true story, centers on the relationship between a wealthy white aristocrat who becomes a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident, and the young “street-tough” black man he hires to take care of him.
It stars Omar Sy as our “street-tough” dude, Driss, while François Cluzet (one of France’s movie stars), plays Philippe the rich quadriplegic.
The pair are in character in the photo above.
As I’ve already said… I’m not familiar with the true story that the film is based on, and couldn’t immediately find anything about it on the web; but I am really curious to know what Harvey sees in it to warrant a Hollywood remake. Based on what I’ve learned about the original story thus far, there’s nothing particular fresh about the basic buddy/comedy concept, and one can’t help but instantly see some familiar character archetypes here, specifically where the black man is concerned.
But again, some of its context may be lost in translation for me, so I’ll wait until I actually see the original film before dumping on the entire the project, as well as the Weinsteins’ remake. Given that it is based on true events, I’m wondering if Harvey will stick to the original story and characters (the right white quadriplegic and the poor, street smart, black tough guy), or revamp the entire idea.
It opens in France on November 2nd, and given that the Weinsteins acquired stateside rights to it, I assume it’ll play in the USA as well… maybe.
Omar Sy is a name that is likely foreign to most on this side of the pond, though the 33 year old Frenchman has been active as an actor in France since the year 2000. While Intouchables just may be his highest profiles role and project to date, some may recognize him from Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2009 comedy crime caper Micmacs, which was released in theaters stateside, though limited. He has a couple of upcoming new French movie projects, though I suspect if Intouchables is a traveling success, thanks to the Weinsteins, we might be talking about him on this side of the pond sooner than later.
Watch the first full-length trailer below, which is in French, without subtitles. Sorry… though I think the images tell the tale. I should note that I expected it to be a straight drama; this promises something more comedic than grave (poster underneath).