Musical producer

Ioan Gruffudd, star of “The Reunion”, director Bill Eagles, producer Sydney Gallonde, remains faithful to the novel by Guillaume Musso

The action in the upcoming mystery thriller ‘The Reunion,’ starring ‘Harrow’s’ Ioan Gruffudcentered on three characters in two time zones, 25 years apart, but the emotions and personalities of the characters are consistent, British director of the show Bill Eagles explained on Sunday at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

The English-language show, produced by Sydney Gallonde at Make It Happen Studio and co-produced by MGM Intl. TV Productions and broadcaster France Télévisions, relies on Guillaume Mussobest-selling novel “The Girl and the Night”.

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The story opens in the present day, at a reunion at an international school in the south of France where three old friends reconnect. They separated and lost touch, but they are still bound by a tragic secret related to the disappearance of a classmate 25 years ago.

Although Eagles recognized that having the same characters in two time zones presented challenges, the key to overcoming them lay in the novel. “Guillaume Musso exposed his characters so well at 18, and understood their evolution over a period of 25 years, that the lines that the characters delivered in our present totally corresponded to the evolution of the characters from where we had seen them. as young characters.

He added: “Essentially, if we believe in the young cast, we believe in the consequences of their actions, murderous actions, actions of betrayal, obsessive love, denial, and then we inform these older characters with the same principles. , and look at how these feelings and emotions have been nurtured for 25 years, and then when we bring these characters together, we find total belief and synthesis between young and old.

In a video presentation shown at the festival, Musso explained that his time working as a teacher at an international school in the south of France was “the trigger” for writing the novel. “La Réunion” is the first television series adaptation of one of his 19 novels. He says he set as a condition for the adaptation that it be shot in the region where he spent his youth. He explained that previous requests had often been made for “the wrong reasons” – because his novels were bestsellers, and it was “rarely really for artistic reasons”.

On the other hand, Gallonde – whom he has known for over 10 years – “always came up with projects that were first because he read my books, because he liked my novels,” Musso said, “ and because he had an artistic vision behind it, and it was only natural that I said ‘Yes’ to this project.

Gallonde explained how he worked with the author on the show. “Guillaume Musso is involved every second of this project… but through me, because the thing is, I made him a promise: I told him, I will protect your DNA, and I will be 100% involved. just to deliver something you’ll be proud of.”

Eagles said one of the keys to the success of the novels was that the stories were compelling. “With Guillaume’s writing, you believe in all the twists and turns, and you believe that certain facts or elements of the story were overlooked because they came from the character’s problems; it did not come from the necessity of the conspiracy,” he said.

Gruffudd said he felt a special responsibility to Musso for his character, Thomas, to be fair because Thomas is a writer. “It’s almost like Guillaume representing himself in Thomas,” he said. “There are definitely aspects of Guillaume being Thomas in the book. So when you’re portraying the novelist and playing a novelist, you know, you want to try to adhere to the little niceties that he’s written into his novels.

Gruffudd also paid tribute to British writer Marston Bloom, who adapted Musso’s novel, alongside Gallonde. Gallonde added that before Bloom began his adaptation, he and Musso met, “to make sure that the French part will be present in the series, and that the series will adapt to the global audience”, and to the universal character Of the history.

Eagles acknowledged that while there can be something very traditional about a crime thriller, “the complexity of the psychology that [Musso] allows its characters to inhabit the novel makes it a very contemporary play.

He elaborates on this point: “We have the psychology of denial, of obsessive love, of inappropriate obsessive love, of betrayal. And then people trying to make amends for their crime. So, 25 years later, Fanny has become a doctor and Max has become a politician trying to do good. It’s interesting, the character of Thomas, he became a writer. He always explores storytelling and fantasy, and in a way his character is most in denial.

“It’s kind of a really fascinating delineation of the three different characters. And because Thomas is so in denial — because he hasn’t really decided to pay amends and find some kind of redemptive journey — it’s is part of the reason why he turns everything upside down, stirs up the pond with all the dirt and mud and creates the ensuing chaos.

Gallonde stressed the importance of the international dimension of the novel and the series, which, in addition to having a British director and screenwriter, brought together actors from several countries, including Gruffudd from Wales, Ivanna Sakhno from Ukraine , Salóme Gunnarsdóttir from Iceland and Vahina Giocante from France. and Gregory Fitoussi.

Gallonde said: “Six years ago my English was non-existent. Six years ago, I would never have imagined joining all these people. Six years ago, I would never have imagined involving MGM in a French production, based on a French IP. So for me, the international part of the novel was essential.

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