AMERICAN ADAPTATION OF 'A FRENCH VILLAGE' - POPULAR PERIOD DRAMA RAN FOR 7 SEASONS
During the Quais du polar on-stage discussion in Lyon March 29, someone in the audience asked Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman about their appreciation for the popular French television series A French Village:
De Palma: Ah, the French Village.
Lehman: We almost made it through an interview without mentioning it.
De Palma: A friend of Susan's turned us on to A French Village. And we were totally engrossed in it. And when we were on our last book tour-- and if we had sold a few more books we wouldn't be back here [laughter]-- we talked about how much we loved A French Village. And the producer and show runner contacted me with an idea of how to do A French Village in America. And we are meeting at a restaurant, dreaming it up.
Lehman: Forgive me-- he left out a key thing. It's about the Civil War, but the same sort of template as A French Village.
De Palma: So much to do, so little time.
Today, Télérama's Pierre Langlais reports on De Palma's meeting with the producer and show runner mentioned above, which took place in Paris yesterday. The French series was created by Frédéric Krivine (pictured above, on the far right), Philippe Triboit (who directed many of the show's episodes), and producer Emmanuel Daucé (pictured above, second from left). Running for seven seasons. the popular drama, set during the period of the second world war, "follows the lives of ordinary people in a small French village under German occupation," according to Variety's Elsa Keslassy. According to Langlais' report in Télérama, De Palma will work with Krivine "on this American version tentatively entitled Newton 1861, whose plot will take place in a fictional city of Kentucky, between 1861 and 1865."
In the picture above at far left is Jean-François Boyer, president of Tetra Media Fiction, which produced A French Village and is also associated with the new project. Langlais mentions that Newton 1861 "will only see the light of day on condition of finding a broadcaster."
Langlais continues, "A touching historical chronicle full of twists, reflecting on the period of occupation [within the lives] of women and men, A French Village has developed its original story through seven seasons, stripped of all manichéisme. The challenge of this American version will be to adapt its dramatic tensions as well as its ethical and political questions to the local context, to slavery and to a civil war constituting the American nation."
And it looks like De Palma and Krivine plan to get working on development right away: the book Krivine is holding in the picture above is Slavery Times in Kentucky by J. Winston Coleman.