A magical dystopia that is a hit! The
rose to second place in Netflix's top 10, behind the juggernaut
and ahead of the highly anticipated fifth and final season of Lucifer. Adapted from the comic book by Canadian Jeff Lemire, this eight-part series, created by Jim Mickle (
We Are What We Are
) and Beth Schwartz (
) and written with Christina Ham and Jeff Lemire, follows the dreamlike road trip of a little half-deer, half-human boy named Gus in a post-apocalyptic America hit by a pandemic. Enough to undermine morale in the midst of deconfinement? Nay! The show's creators explain how they managed to talk about a pandemic without being depressing.
A tone lighter than in the comic book
is a very personal story.
It's a big part of my life, ”launches Jeff Lemire, the creator of the comic strip, with whom
spoke during a roundtable organized by Netflix, initially worried about a possible adaptation of his work.
“But Jim and I had a great conversation from the start and I felt right away that he really understood the story and the characters,” he continues.
The series chose from the outset to adopt a lighter tone than its graphic novel.
“The media is different, so it's different.
This is an adaptation, not a translation.
I realized early on that things had to change.
The book is more violent and a little darker.
You know, audiences react very differently to something drawn on a piece of paper than to something done by actors on a screen.
Having characters a little less violent was necessary to bring this story to life, says the author.
I love the series and comics and the fact that they can exist together and complement each other.
A series in full writing at the start of the pandemic
The production of
has been interrupted by the Covid-19. “Creatively, it hasn't changed much. But obviously, it affected us emotionally, ”explains Beth Schwartz, who recalls that a large part of the series had been developed before the pandemic. “In the middle of writing the fourth episode, we started working with Zoom,” she explains. The show was kind of a beacon of hope, as the world crumbled and went into chaos. "
“All we could do was put our heads down and tell this story.
Fortunately, we were already halfway when it happened, ”says Jim Mickle.
And to add: "It's not really a pandemic story,
is mostly about what happens after and what can come out of it good.
No bad timing, on the contrary.
“We hope people will remember that hope is important.
We tried to find a way to tell this apocalyptic story in a way that says "hang on, you'll be okay. The world needs this message more than ever."
A series full of hope
“Comics do the same.
The story could take the characters into dark situations and make them go through hardships.
But they always do better on the other side.
These are the kinds of stories we would all like to believe right now, ”says Jeff Lemire.
“Some characters even have better lives after the pandemic,” exclaims Beth Schwartz.
The Anderson family, whom Gus meets in episode 2, have thus become more united thanks to the pandemic.
During the lockdown, "the lucky people realized what was really important to them, not the work or the hubbub of the outside world, but things like spending time with family," she explains.
A story seen through the eyes of a child
“We just want people to get away from it all, that's what the show has made possible for everyone who worked on it.
During the pandemic, when everything was dark and scary, we were gathered together, actors, producers and writers, to invent this magical story of a little deer boy who made us feel better, ”adds Beth Schwartz.
And the story, seen through the eyes of this naive kid, forces the viewer to rediscover the capacity for wonder of childhood.
“Exactly,” confirms Jim Mickle.
Gus is the moral compass of the series.
His education is perfect for me.
He grew up completely surrounded by nature.
There is a utopian dimension.
A series in a magical setting
The landscapes of New Zealand give the series a magical dimension. “It looks like the United States but bigger, more lush, more beautiful and more hilly. Many ideas come from this framework, but also from the stories we grew up with. Stories from the 1980s like
ET, the alien
The Neverending Story
, ”he says.
The magic also operates because director Jim Mickle has abandoned computer graphics in favor of old-fashioned effects.
“They always have a real charm, rejoices the director.
The comics are made by hand and I think you can feel it on screen in a way.
A true ode to nature, to handmade, to humans and to tolerance,
is therefore resolutely optimistic even if it is set against the backdrop of a pandemic.
"Sweet Tooth": Why Netflix's Fairy Dystopia Will Make You Crack
"Loki", "Lupine", "Mixte" ... The calendar of new series in France for June