News broke yesterday that a live-action movie adaptation of Le Petit Spirou (“Little Spirou”) is under development, for release in 2015.
The film will be directed by Nicolas Bary, known for the children’s fantasy-adventure movie Les Enfants de Timpelbach (“Trouble at Timpletill”, 2008), and is being written by Laurent Turner (La Chance de ma vie; “Second Chances”, 2011). Given the early status of the project, the promotional image shown should probably not be taken as showing the actual actor portraying the young Spirou. The budget is reportedly estimated at 8–10 million euro.
The news follows the announcement last year of a live-action Spirou & Fantasio movie also under development.
The Petit Spirou comic by Tome & Janry (assisted by Dan) started out in 1987 as a spin-off portraying the hero’s childhood adventures, mostly through one-page gags. It quickly became immensely popular, outselling the original series many times over, and remains one of the bestselling comics in the French-language market today. Though originally intended to be in continuity with the parent series, the “Little” Spirou never much resembled his adult self, and the two comics parted ways definitely when Tome & Janry left the original series. These days, the child version should probably be considered a wholly separate character.
Originally, Le Petit Spirou was set in some vaguely-defined past, but Tome & Janry later moved it to the present. We can only guess whether the film will be a period piece, but if that’s a hoodie he’s wearing under his jacket, that might indicate a contemporary setting.