La Révolution comes to Netflix: How would the French Revolution be told as a horror story?

In its first seconds, The revolution it looks like a traditional historical approach. It’s 1789 and France has witnessed a trail of blood, with bodies and heads scattered everywhere in the snow. A young woman on her horse cruelly ends the life of one of the last survivors, a nobleman who flees in terror. But what jumps on the floor is blue blood, literally, while the adolescent, also a narrator, announces that what is coming is “how the century of darkness became that of illustration.”

Going back two years, the production that premieres tomorrow on Netflix delves into the rereading it elaborates on the French Revolution, imagining it as a story that has at its center the appearance of a virus – blue blood – and a series of strangers and murder mysteries that have the poor as victims. That crossed with the most elemental around the period, when “hunger and poverty abounded in the French territory” – says the narrator – and dreamed of “a world without tyrants or slaves.”

An approach divided into eight episodes that its creator, Aurélien Molas, tells La Tercera PM, devised in 2013 and began to realize two years later. Then inspired by the Netflix series Kingdom, which addresses historical events in Korea in terms of terror and suspense, the scriptwriter ended up proposing to the streaming platform a production that would overturn the French Revolution, in which creative freedom and stylization would ultimately prevail visual before the historical rigor that perhaps has dominated other fictions about the time.

“For me the challenge was to reinvent the history of the Revolution,” says the showrunner, who reveals his admiration for authors like Stephen King when creating a series that plays with ingredients of genre, even integrating the undead. “I wanted to add some elements, but it is not a horror or thriller series,” he defines.

The way in which he resolved to “approach the revolutionary ideal” is partly based on the fact that “the series takes place in 1787, and from that year there are no great events that we see in history books, so I had narrative freedom and what mattered to me was work with the characters, the places and the plot ”.

One of the protagonists is Joseph Guillotin (Amir El Kacem), a doctor who ends up investigating the mystery behind the virus and seeks justice, something in which he coincides with someone who had a love in the past, Elise de Montargis (Marilou Aussilloux), a nobleman who warns of popular discontent.

“As an artist, what interested me was to show different points of view, as Stephen King has done,” he explains. “I want main heroes. The idea is that the characters are quite alone, but they are all going to unite as a team and together they are going to start a revolt ”.

In the first season there is no place for Robespierre or the National Assembly – or perhaps other key milestones that may be missed – but a handful of recognizable events could appear in an eventual continuation, which Molas already works under the concept of white, thus as in the first it was blue (and in the third it would be red).

“The idea is that if there is a second season, it is between 1788 and 1789 and there are much more well-known historical events,” he details, along with showing “how the revolt spreads and the real struggle begins between the aristocracy, the monarchy, and the French people ”.

Before he must face the reception of his country and the rest of the world, thinking that tomorrow The revolution will reach the nearly 190 countries where the platform is available, launched to carry out projects in every corner and reinvent familiar facts worldwide. “Honestly, although the series has been written about, I don’t know how it will be received in France. I hope very well ”, he says, concluding:“ I hope the series is an echo of the modern struggles of society ”.


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