Netflix Orders First Ever ‘Asterix’ Animated Series
Iconic French cartoon character ‘Asterix‘ is set to make his first appearance in an animated tv series on Netflix the streaming service has announced.
For those of you unfamiliar with Asterix, the character was first created in 1959 by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, and in set in 50 BC. Gaul is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, not entirely… One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders… Thanks to a magic potion that gives them temporary superhuman strength (brewed by their druid Getafix), Asterix, along with his best friend Obelix and the rest of the village, have managed to stave off the invading Roman armies.
The new series will be adapted from one of the classic volumes, Asterix and the Big Fight, where the Romans, after being constantly embarrassed by Asterix and his village cohorts, organize a brawl between rival Gaulish chiefs and try to fix the result by kidnapping a druid along with his much-needed magic potion… it doesn’t go as planned. You can see the panel below which was released to announce the new series.
This is not the first time Asterix has appeared on-screen, having previously had 14 films made about the feisty Gaul group in both 2D and 3D animation, and also in live-action. The new tv series comes from renowned French auteur and playwright Alain Chabat, who will direct, with Alain Goldman (Legende Films) producing. Chabat is no stranger to the iconic property, having written and directed 2002’s Mission Cléopâtre,’ the most successful of Asterix’s numerous appearances on-screen and the third highest-grossing feature film in French history.
Asterix is something of a cultural phenomenon in its native France, along with Italy, Germany and Canada (and to some extent, the UK.) Alongside the various films, there have been over 40 video games based on the character, and he even has his own theme park, Parc Astérix, just outside Paris.
To date, there have been 38 books, the most recent being ‘Asterix and the Chieftain’s Daughter’ in 2019. Goscinny wrote and Uderzo illustrated them together until Goscinny’s death in 1977. Uderzo then took over writing and illustrating until 2009, when he sold the rights to publishing company Hachette. In 2013, a new team, consisting of Jean-Yves Ferri as writer and Didier Conrad as illustrator, took over, and are the duo currently behind the work. Since the first Asterix graphic novel was published in 1961, the 38 volumes have been released in 111 languages and dialects, with the 39th due later this year.
‘Asterix‘ is set to premiere on Netflix UK and around the world in 2023.