Successful Belgian bande dessinée series Largo Winch has been made into a live action film. Its writer and creator Jean Van Hamme was on hand at the Institut Francais in South Kensington in London to answer questions after a screening of the film. Joel Meadows reports…
Largo Winch, a co-production between France and Belgium, is in English with selected French and Croatian subtitles and captures the flavour of the graphic novel pretty effortlessly.
Largo is the adopted son of business magnate Nerio Winch who is incapacitated and so his multimillion dollar business is up for grabs from all comers. A playboy, Largo travels the world rescuing women in distress and generally living it up in a pulp adventure cut from the same cloth as something like The Shadow, with a dash of Bruce Wayne and James Bond thrown in for good measure.
Director Jerome Salle makes good use of the European settings in the film and Tomer Sisley as the eponymous hero is decent value. While the plot is a little convoluted at times, it rewards the viewer’s concentration and you are left with a satisfying romp of a film.
Despite the fact that it is predominantly in English, Largo Winch manages to preserve that very European feel that makes the graphic novels such a joy to consume.
The Q&A afterwards shed quite a lot of light on the adaptation process, with Van Hamme coming across as a passionate and intelligent man. Even though the film only received a week’s theatrical release, at the Institut Francais, it is coming to DVD at the end of July from Optimum Releasing, and a sequel is already being made, so the name Largo Winch is one that the English-speaking world will no doubt be becoming more familiar with over the next few years.
Pictures from the screening by and © Joel Meadows
• Largo Winch is available to buy in English from Cinebooks and the film will be on DVD from Optimum Releasing in August.
• Joel Meadows is the editor-in-chief of TRIPWIRE, Britain’s only features-driven comics and media magazine as well as having written about comics and genre for many of the world’s best-known publications including Time Magazine, The Times, Variety, Empire and many more.
• Tripwire official website: wwww.tripwire-magazine.com
• Walls and Bridges blog: http://joelm1-joelmead.blogspot.com/
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.