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Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis" Soon an All Star Cast Animated film Co-Produced by Spielberg's Associate Kathleen Kennedy


Paris Report by Darius KADIVAR



Left to Right: Catherine Deneuve poses for Yves Saint Laurent's 1967 collection.
Marjan Satrapi the talented author of Persepolis' adventures. Bottom Left to Right:
Daughter of Italian Star Marcello Mastroiani and Catherine Deneuve: Chiara
Mastroiani. Danielle Darrieux icon of French Cinema. Persepolis by Marjan
Satrapi was an international Hit.


Marjan Satrapi's International best-selling comic book series Persepolis: The story of a childhood Satrapi's autobiography is the story of a young girl's life under the Islamic Revolution. Descended from the Royal Qajar family, Satrapi is nine when fundamentalist rebels overthrow the Last Shah of Iran. While Satrapi's radical minded parents and their community initially welcome the ouster, they soon learn a new brand of totalitarianism is taking over. Satrapi's art is minimal and stark yet often charming and humorous as it depicts the madness around her. She idolizes those who were imprisoned by the Shah, fascinated by their tales of torture, and bonds with her Uncle Anoosh, only to see the new regime imprison and eventually kill him. Thanks to the Iran-Iraq war, neighbors' homes are bombed, playmates are killed and parties are forbidden.

At The Carlton Beach in Cannes last Annual, actress Chiara Mastroianni (left)
with "Persepolis" co-writer/directors Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud.
Sony Pictures Classics announced a deal for the new animated feature adaptation
of Satrapi's book of the same name. Photo by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE

Satrapi's parents, who once lived in luxury despite their politics, struggle to educate their daughter. Her father briefly considers fleeing to America, only to realize the price would be too great. "I can become a taxi driver and you a cleaning lady?" he asks his wife. Iron Maiden, Nikes and Michael Jackson become precious symbols of freedom, and eventually Satrapi's rebellious streak puts her in danger, as even educated women are threatened with beatings for improper attire. Despite the grimness, Satrapi never lapses into sensationalism or sentimentality. Skillfully presenting a child's view of war and her own shifting ideals, she also shows quotidian life in Tehran and her family's pride and love for their country despite the tumultuous times. Powerfully understated, this work joins other memoirs-Spiegelman's Maus and Sacco's Safe Area Goradze-that use comics to make the unthinkable familiar.



An illustration from "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi,
courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.


The animated version of this fascinating story is to be released in 2007. A French co-production by Bibo Films and Pumpkin 3D it will be co directed by Marjan Satrapi and comic book artist Winshluss (Monsieur Ferraille, Smart Monkey ...). The work which will require nearly a titanic total of 2 Million drawings for the animation will be joined by a prestigious cast of French Stars who will do the voice overs : Catherine Deneuve, daughter Chiara Mastroiani and veteran French film star Danielle Darrieux ( Alexander, Cicero Affaire). Deneuve a great fan of Satrapi commented to a French Magazine Citizen K : " Marjane Satrapi is probably my favorite writer of fiction, I love her work and this mixture of black and white which is so graphically stunning. I like her wit and this mixture of despair, humor and solitude. I love all her books. She is startling in real life too. I have met her and I find she has a great sense of humor."


Satrapi expressed her feelings on her book's success , "I observe with some sadness that five years after publishing my book "Persepolis," my country is still, indeed more than ever, in the spotlight. "Persepolis" has become not just about me telling my story. It is universal, immediate and necessary."


In a deal with Celluloid Dreams, Sony Pictures Classics announced during the last Cannes film festival.  It will release "Persepolis" in North America. With Executive producer  Kathleen Kennedy (of the Kennedy/Marshall Company) at the helm. Kennedy is the loyal associate producer of most of Steven Spielberg's successful films. It was described in an announcement as a "poignant coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic revolution." Hengameh Panahi from Celluloid Dreams is handling the film's international sales.


Satrapi was to illustrate the poster for the 2004
Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard Competition

Certainly a milestone for the young artistic community of the Iranian Diaspora, and spokeswomen for an entire generation of Iranian expats, Satrapi's animated version of Persepolis is certain to be one of the major film events of 2007 in its category and certainly highly expected by its aficionados. One would have also wished a movie adaptation of Satrapi's fascinating adventures but the talented author has excluded this possibility.

Dommage ...  


Persepolis US distribution Rights have been acquired by
Steven Spielberg and loyal Associate Kathleen Kennedy



Arthor's notes :

-More on Marjan Satrapi's book.


-TINTIN, the famous Hergé hero is also reported to be on the production Agenda by Kathleen Kennedy and Spielberg :

Producer Kathleen Kennedy and director Steven Spielberg are working on a movie adaptation of the comic-strip "Tintin" for 'Universal' and 'DreamWorks', reports 'Variety' magazine.  

The studios are currently negotiating the film rights with Nick Rodwell of 'Moulinsart' (the company that holds the properties created by deceased cartoonist Georges Remi - under his pseudonym Herge).

"Tintin" follows the intrepid adventures of the titular young reporter, together with his trusty dog Snowy. Tintin's friends and allies include the grumpy Captain Haddock, inept detectives Thomson and Thompson and Professor Cuthbert Calculus.

The comic was first published in 1929 in Belgian newspaper 'Le Petit Vingtieme' and has been translated into more than 50 languages. It has already been adapted into a successful animated series.


Recommended Reading :

Hergé's Fantasy Kingdom: The Land of the Black Pelikan


About the Author: Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian and Columnist of the OCPC Magazine USA. He operates as Paris based Head of PR & Press for
WAALM® 2nd annual Awards 2006.


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