In a report summarizing the decisions made in July by the Luxembourg Film Fund Selection Committee, one project received slightly more attention than the others.
First, the name of the film in question resonates in a lot of heads: “Totally burned!”. In fact, an adaptation of the book of the same name signed by the French author Gilles Legardinier. A true bestseller that has sold over a million copies, it has been translated into many languages and distributed in many countries.
Later, the name of American actor John Malkovich (“Dangerous Contacts”, “The Man in the Iron Mask”, “In John Malkovich’s Skin” …) appeared in a brief summary of the film in question from the film’s fund.
Gilles Legardinier had already been approached by a few large companies, but he liked our discussions, and our attitude attracted him.
Behind this large-scale project we see Luxembourg-based production company Pitibull Productions and one of its founding partners, Crystal Henon.
Seven years of waiting
“I was completely burned! ‘By Gilles Legardinier one night, on a plane. I loved the content, but also its spirit,” Crystal Henon recalled when asked about the origin of the project. Then I found his address and sent him a note, not much, two lines. To tell him how much I appreciated the depth behind the light of his book. Then, below, I wrote a postscript, explaining that if he was interested in a film adaptation, I had a production company … “
The writer then contacted her and a conversation began between them. “He was already approached by some big companies, but he liked our discussions and our attitude attracted him.” So Legardinier handed over the rights to his book to him.
That was seven years ago. Today, Crystal Henon (who participated in the film adaptation of the book) and Gilles Legardinier worked together on the project and became friends. The first attempt to produce the film was halted in 2018, and then Covid 19 and Epidemiology postponed filming to February 2022.
Gilles Legardinier has sold six million books worldwide.
A project, mainly Luxembourgish, with a maximum financial contribution of more or less 6 million euros, up to 1.5 million euros.
Legardinier will direct the film himself
Gilles Legardinier, author of six million books sold worldwide (translated into 17 languages and distributed in less than 22 countries), will be behind the camera. This is his biggest introduction as a director. “But he’s well surrounded. This is not the first time he’s found us with the first film … Gilles is actually the best person to put what he has ever imagined in writing,” declared Crystal Henon with a smile. “Chambre 212”) or “Les Flakes de Toto”.
The 53-year-old producer and co-writer wants to tell more about the film, which tells the story of a one-year-old English entrepreneur (played by John Malkovich) who quit his job as a butler in France. He met his wife. Especially at the casting level. But, for now, it is everywhere, and contracts for this international production are being signed.
In December, the film will be made and promotion will begin. I can say a lot more … “, she insists. We’ll wait until then, so …