LUCKY LUKE made in Argentina
The film was shot during four months in Mendoza, Salta, Jujuy and Buenos Aires in September, 2008 and will be released during Christmas, 2009.
By: Pablo O. Scholz
With a tired walk, and the little cigarette that he rolled with one hand hanging from his mouth - until the cartoonist Morris changed it to a little straw, which won him the acknowledgement of the World Health Organization – the most famous animated cowboy in the history of comics will ride along locations in Mendoza, Jujuy and Salta, Argentina and the interior of a studio that will be built in Buenos Aires. The producers and the director of Lucky Luke the film’s provisional title, found in those Argentinean provinces sufficient facilities and aesthetics to venture filming a super production in our country worth several million dollars. The film will be shot in French, and the powerful production company UGC, which also distributes films and owns several cinemas, is behind the project. Local company K&S (www.ks-films.com) will provide production services.
Oscar Kramer, who worked as a producer on The Piano Lesson, Plata Quemada and I Don't Want to Talk About It, with Marcello Mastroianni, says that "the logical thing, due to locations and as a homage to western films, was to shoot in the United States, or Spain, where westerns have been made. But the producers came to Argentina, did a search for locations, and in the last three months, a whole team came over twice."
Among them was the director, James Huth, who had a success of five million viewers with Brice de Nice (2005), a comedy starred by Jean Dujardin, the “new” Lucky Luke, as well as the producer, Ives Marmion, from UGC, the director of photography, the production designer Pierre Queffelean -who worked as art supervisor on Seven Years in Tibet, shot in Mendoza- the costume designer OIivier Bériot (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and an assistant director.
By March, 2008 they settled here, getting ready to shoot in September, 2008, for four months. It was unknown who will accompany Dujardin, who, strangely enough, had a supporting role in Les Dalton (2004), based on the four clumsy cowboys who want to kill Luke. But there will certainly be a local casting, “to cover some major and medium roles. It’s all based on Dujardin.” Dujardin has become a star, he has done stand-up comedy and even had a very successful TV show on French television. The plot is a mixture of different adventures, which the director himself wrote, based on several published stories, "but on none in particular." We do know that the Dalton brothers - for the fans, are key in the saga.
The director has already re-written the script not once but three times, once due to the locations he saw in Uspallata (Mendoza) and in the Northern provinces. He worked with absolute freedom. “It’s a pretty enviable production structure”, says Kramer. Lucky Luke created a lot of jobs "not only for technicians - they're fascinated with the equipment, they interviewed a lot of camera and lightning people -, we all learned a lot.” Shooting on Lucky Luke will ended in late December, 2008, it will have "a year in post-production, because of the special effects", and will be ready to premiere in Christmas 2009.