Christophe Gans

Brotherhood of the Wolf

Interviewed by Anwar Brett

Is "Brotherhood of the Wolf" really based on a true story?

Yes, it happened over a period of three years in the 18th century. Something or somebody killed more than 100 women and children in a French region. Nobody knew what it was, and it became a political issue. Everyone was making bad jokes about how the king could not capture this beast. It's still a mystery.

Is the period in which the film is set important?

It's set during 'the enlightenment', so it is very specific. People are debating about modern ideas - freedom, religion, equality, and other rights. If we remember the story well, I think it's because it happens precisely during that moment - it's a big shock between the modern age and the dark age.

You gleefully mix genres and styles here. Was that part of the appeal?

I knew right from the beginning that the movie would be a crazy hybrid. That was the challenge, and the real interest for me. To try to rebuild a France that never really existed, using naturalistic elements but giving it a very strange flavour. It's the same thing in "Amelie" - Jean-Pierre Jeunet created a Montmartre that never really existed, that's the Montmartre of the tourists. I think it's very nice to see someone re-compose a dream geography of France. Basically I did the same thing. I'm interested in the mythology, keeping that meaningful. I don't only want to make a cool movie with great fights, I also want to maintain a feeling of those times.

Did your cast respond to this notion of a period romp with a few modern twists?

They did. It's a very young cast, a fresh cast. I think they were amazed to be in such a movie as this and had a lot of fun.

"Brotherhood of the Wolf" is released in UK cinemas on Friday 19th October 2001.