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Interview with Franck Mancuso (Director)
Why did you decide to take part on this project? What attracted you about Lanester?
First of all, the subject. The story is always the heart of everything. The characters, what happens to them, and how they react. In this case, the fact that a cop of the homicide squad is suddenly blind but decides to continue investigating. Something impossible in the real world, but interesting in this fiction is the fact that a taxi driver becomes his aide. Also, the possibility to make cinema for TV with a feature-length. Finally, the personality of the producer who called me. Jean-Luc Michaux is someone that I think highly of.
What are the main differences viewers will find between Guerin’s books and the series?
The most important one is probably that the character in the book was a profiler, a job that doesn’t exist in France. Influenced by American series, but for a really simple reason: all the cops of the homicide squad have a bit of profilers themselves. You can’t work on murderers without having some serious skills regarding criminal psychology.
Then, the taxi driver character used to be a man in a terminal stage of lung cancer. The fact that replacing him by a woman looking like an urchin changed the relationship of course.
How did you select your cast? What characteristics were needed in the actors to participate in this project?
The cast has been chosen once the original script was reworked. I wanted to work with A-list actors and technicians. That’s what happened. A lot of famous and talented actors have been auditioned for the leading part, which proved that the project was as interesting as we thought. It was obvious when I had the feeling that I had found the good chemistry between the 3 main actors: Lanester, his brother and the taxi driver. That is to say Richard Berry, Bruno Salomone and Emma de Caunes. Each couple had to work well, Lanester/brother, Lanester/taxi driver, but also the trio. It was hard but we did it.
Who are your main influences in filmmaking? What style or director you like the most or find inspiration by seeing his or her movies?
I am quite eclectic, but if I had to choose a filmography to go with me on a desert island, that would be Michael Mann’s or de Ridley Scott’s. They have the knack for seizing various subjects and making them impressive. Whatever the story, each one of their movies is a cinematic experience.
What’s next for Lanester? Will we have more episodes of the detective maybe adapted to recent events in Europe and France?
I have just finished the writing of the third part. Considering the success of the first two, more are expected to come, but the subjects haven’t been chosen yet.
Are you working on any other projects at the moment? Can you tell us about them?
I have two feature film scripts written. One is about the Boudarel case during the Indochinese War, the other one a “contemporary mythological thriller” in the vein of Alan Parker’s Angel Heart. And I am writing what should be my third feature film: La Traque. The film is about the hunt for Khaled Kelkal during the 1995 attack, a hunt I took part because at that time I used to work for antiterrorist division in Paris.
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