From February 16, young and old have an appointment for an adventure as beautiful as it is moving in King. On the program: a touching story of friendship between a child and a lion cub, carried by a starry cast. 5 facts about the movie.
WHAT DOES IT TALK ABOUT ?
King, a lion cub destined for trafficking, escapes from the airport and takes refuge in the house of Inès, 12 years old and Alex, 15 years old. The brother and sister then have the crazy idea of taking him home to Africa.
But the pursuit of customs officers does not make their life easier. When Max, their whimsical grandfather whom they have only seen twice in their life, joins the adventure, everything becomes possible…
TWO “FELINE” HEROES FOR EACH OTHER
In cinemas from February 16, King is the brand new film by David Moreau. After the horror thrillers They and The Eye, the romantic comedy 20 years apart, the fantastic film Alone, the director immerses us in an adventure telling the incredible friendship between a child and a lion cub.
Seen in the series Dad or Mom and Just Kids, Lou Lambrecht plays the young Inès who will do everything to save the beast from trafficking. A role for which the little girl has been preparing for a long time, in particular so that her relationship with the lion is the most credible.
“Before filming, I spent several weeks with his breeder, so that he could get used to me. I remember that I played with him, I gave him the bottle and above all I talked to him for hours so that he got used to my voice or my smell.”, she says. And David Moreau to clarify: “Lou spent a lot of time with the baby lion, even falling in love with these beasts.”
TRUER THAN NATURE
If a real lion cub was present on the film set, the character of King is largely realized in VFX. “The complexity of the film meant that I needed the lion cub to do very specific things at key moments. Complex actions, almost impossible to perform with animals which, due to their young age, are not trained”, explains the director.
“We storyboarded the whole film to find out what we could shoot in real life, and what we couldn’t. Very quickly, the place of VFX imposed itself as the majority (…) the synthetic animal is really very successful and perfectly embodies the role of King, a lion cub with a strong character.”
The real lion cub therefore only had a few days of filming with one or two takes maximum. A real challenge taken up by Lou Lambrecht, she who often had to play alone: “So I had to speak in a vacuum, which was a bit complicated. But luckily when the lion cub was facing me everything became easier and more natural again.”
A LICKED CASTING
Faced with the revelation Lou Lambrecht and Léo Lorléac’h who plays his brother Alex, we find Gérard Darmon in the role of Max, a whimsical grandfather. “He has this nature, this duality that is touching, funny, severe at the same time. I didn’t want a slightly doting grandfather”, describes David Moreau.
“He’s an actor who has a real mouth, the head of a lynx: it’s great to film! I said to myself several times that I had the impression of working with Clint Eastwood.” But Gérard Darmon is not the only one to illuminate King, since Thibault de Montalembert (Ten percent), Clémentine Baert (We will end up together), Artus (Le Bureau des legendes) or Eye Haïdara (Le Sens de la fête) complete the cast.
AN EIGHTIES PAW
Born in the late 70s, David Moreau was rocked by the cinema of Joe Dante (The Gremlins), Steven Spielberg (ET), Richard Donner (The Goonies) or John Badham (Wargames). “As a kid, I projected myself a lot into these universes that never seemed so improbable to me. Nevertheless, I have always regretted that these stories do not have their roots in my own reality, and my reality was not Phoenix or Los Angeles but Val d’Oise”, he confides.
That’s why – and even if he didn’t want to make a vintage film in the first place – the director was quickly overtaken by his personal tastes and thus took particular care with the photography and the sets, as in these US classics.
“We worked a lot with Antoine Sanier, the film’s cinematographer, to find the right balance between magic and realism. We didn’t want to show King too much at first, to make him as intriguing as possible..” An approach that immediately evokes ET, a film which is one of Lou Lambrecht’s favorites and which served as a reference for Moreau.
Discover King, February 16 at the cinema.