The first film of its kind in France, How I became a superhero will land this Saturday, July 9 on Netflix. The film, directed by Douglas Attal, was presented to the public during the MK2 Cinéma Paradiso Festival. We met the director and some of the actors. Interview.
In France, genre films are rare to invade cinemas. Superheroes, omnipresent in Hollywood, are struggling to find their way into the French audiovisual panorama and particularly on the big screen. There is therefore no doubt that Douglas Attal’s first feature film is an exception. During the premiere of the film at the MK2 Cinéma Paridiso Festival, the director confided in the many challenges he had to overcome to bring this first feature film to life.
“What is hardest is to edit the film, to convince that we have the talents to do that at home, in terms of special effects and action. There is this preconceived idea that we are unable to make a film like this in France, it is totally false. ”
Yes How I became a superhero is not officially the first French film to indulge in exercise, Black snake had already decided to invest in super-heroic themes to approach them in the tone of humor (with the result that we know), Douglas Attal did not want to give in to parody and preferred to borrow from genres deeply rooted in French culture.
“I tried to make a film with a French touch, taking my inspiration from detective films. We have a culture of thrillers and black novels in France. Otherwise, my biggest inspiration is Unbreakable by Night Shymalan for the intimate side of the superhero and without frills. It reduces the superhero codes to their simplest device ”.
This desire to break the codes, the director has also applied even in his casting choices. “I wanted a casting with actors who belong to really different worlds. I didn’t want to be identified as an auteur film or a comedy. ” He has also made some changes on the side of the narrative, by recruiting Leïla Bekthi to play Callista. She explains to us: “For the little anecdote, Callista didn’t exist in the novels, well, she was a man. He decided to feminize the role. I wondered, but why is there no female character? It was a 5 minute discussion and he immediately agreed. ”
A scriptwriting but also a technical challenge
For the actors, the shooting of this film was not easy. Vimala Pons, who plays Lieutenant Cécile Schaltzmann, told us that she was injured on stage. “The hardest thing was a wet chase. We were really running tight ass… It wasn’t easy (laughs)” A feeling shared by Pio Marmaï who confides in his difficulty in interacting with green backgrounds. “It’s the difficulty of projecting into special effects stuff, we are not used to doing that. But… it’s pretty fun. ”
A release on Netflix
First promised for a theatrical release, How I Became a Superhero will finally arrive on Netflix. The pandemic, which forced French cinemas to keep doors closed for several months, was synonymous with upheaval for the film which will ultimately have to be content with the small screen. For Douglas Attal, this is not such a bad idea since it offers his work the prospect of international influence. “We decided that because we thought it would bring great visibility to the film. And then the Covid has been there and it’s finally a good way to stand out from all the theatrical releases and then it’s the perfect film for Netflix and its audience who are hungry for genre films and superheroes. . ”
See you as soon as July 9th to discover How I became a superhero on Netflix. The film follows the adventures of two police lieutenants who investigate a mysterious substance that grants its users supernatural powers.