Lupin (French TV series)

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Lupin
Genre
Created by
Based onArsène Lupin
by Maurice Leblanc
Written by
  • George Kay
  • François Uzan
  • Eliane Montane
  • Soiliho Bodin
  • Nicolas Clément
  • Camille Couasse
  • Sumerah Srivastav
  • Steve Bailie
  • Tony Saint
  • Adam Usden
  • Kam Odedra
Directed by
Starring
ComposerMathieu Lamboley [fr]
Country of originFrance
Original languageFrench
No. of seasons2 (3 parts)[a]
No. of episodes17
Production
Producers
  • Isabelle Degeorges
  • Nathan Franck
  • Martin Jaubert
Cinematography
  • Christophe Nuyens
  • Martial Schmeltz
Editors
  • Jean-Daniel Fernandez-Qundez
  • Richard Marizy
  • Audrey Simonaud
Running time40–52 minutes
Production companyGaumont Television
Original release
NetworkNetflix
Release8 January 2021 (2021-01-08) –
present

Lupin is a French mystery thriller television series created by George Kay and François Uzan. It premiered on Netflix on 8 January 2021, when the first set of five episodes were released. Another five aired on 11 June 2021.[2] The series was renewed for a third instalment,[3] which debuted on 5 October 2023.[4]

The show stars Omar Sy in the role of Assane Diop, a man who is inspired by the adventures of master thief Arsène Lupin, a character created by Maurice Leblanc in the early 1900s.[5] The first part, consisting of five episodes, is subtitled Dans l'ombre d'Arsène ("in the shadow of Arsène"), referring to the primary character's inspiration.[6][7] The series was watched by 76 million households during its first month, becoming the most-watched non-English series on Netflix at the time.[8][9]

Synopsis[edit]

The story follows professional thief Assane Diop, the only son of an immigrant from Senegal who had come to France to seek a better life for himself and his child. Assane's father is framed for the theft of an expensive diamond necklace by his employer, the wealthy and powerful Hubert Pellegrini, and dies in his prison cell, leaving the fourteen-year-old Assane to fend for himself on the streets of Paris. Twenty-five years later, inspired by a book about gentleman thief Arsène Lupin his father had given him on his birthday, Assane sets out to get revenge on the Pellegrini family, using his charisma and mastery of thievery, subterfuge, and disguise to expose Pellegrini's crimes.[10][11][12][5]

The second part focuses on the search for Assane's kidnapped son, Raoul, and the plan to take Pellegrini down; the latter was not killed but imprisoned.[13] The third part revolves around the theft of "the priceless Black Pearl" by Assane, and his attempt to mend the relationships with his wife and son.[14]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Omar Sy as Assane Diop, a gentleman thief who styles himself after Arsène Lupin and vows to avenge his father's death.
    • Mamadou Haidara as young Assane Diop
  • Ludivine Sagnier as Claire Laurent, Assane's estranged wife and the mother of his child, of whom she has full custody.
    • Ludmilla Makowski as young Claire Laurent
  • Antoine Gouy as Benjamin Férel, Assane's best friend from his school days, who currently works as an antiquarian.
    • Adrian Valli de Villebonne as young Benjamin Férel
  • Soufiane Guerrab as Youssef Guédira, a detective who uses his knowledge of the Arsène Lupin books to track Assane's activity.
  • Shirine Boutella as Sofia Belkacem, a lieutenant detective. As of part 3, she has been promoted to the rank of captain.
  • Etan Simon as Raoul Diop, the son of Assane and Claire
  • Clotilde Hesme as Juliette Pellegrini (parts 1–2; guest, part 3), the daughter of wealthy entrepreneur Hubert Pellegrini.
    • Léa Bonneau as young Juliette Pellegrini
  • Nicole Garcia as Anne Pellegrini (parts 1–2), Hubert's wife.
  • Hervé Pierre as Hubert Pellegrini (parts 1–2; guest, part 3), an unscrupulous business tycoon who once employed Assane's father, Babakar.
  • Fargass Assandé as Babakar Diop (flashback sequences only), Assane's late father, who was falsely accused of having stolen the Pellegrinis' diamond necklace.
  • Vincent Londez as Captain Romain Laugier (parts 1–2), a police captain tasked with retrieving the Pellegrinis' necklace.
  • Vincent Garanger as Gabriel Dumont (parts 1–2), the commissioner of the Paris police department.
    • Johann Dionnet as young Gabriel Dumont

Supporting[edit]

  • Anne Benoît as Fabienne Bériot (part 1), an unjustly disgraced former journalist who had come close to exposing Hubert's villainy.
  • Adama Niane as Léonard Koné (parts 1–2), an ex-convict and assassin employed by Hubert.
  • Antony Hickling as Max Moller (part 3, episode 4), a powerful billionaire who arrives at the chateau.
  • Nicolas Wanczycki as Pascal Oblet (part 2), an undercover police officer who works closely with Hubert.
  • Stefan Crepon as Philippe Courbet (parts 2–3), a young stockbroker who is not all he seems.
  • Martha Canga Antonio as Fleur Bélanger (part 3), a journalist seeking to uncover the truth about Assane's activities.
  • Julien Pestel as Arnold de Garmeaux (part 3), a journalist who competes with Fleur for headlines.
  • Naky Sy Savané as Mariama Diop (part 3), Assane's mother
    • Seyna Kane as young Mariama Diop
  • Steve Tientcheu as Jean-Luc Keller (part 3), a man who ran a boxing club that Assane had joined as a teenager.
    • Salif Cissé as young Jean-Luc Keller
  • Sandra Parfait as Manon (part 3), Keller's girlfriend
    • Sandya Touré Maite as young Manon
  • Pierre Lottin as Bruno (part 3), a former childhood friend of Assane's
    • Noé Wodecki as young Bruno
  • Vincent Overath as Cisco (part 3), the leader of a gang that Assane becomes involved with.
  • Nicolas Berno as Ferdinand (part 3), an associate of Keller

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

PartSeasonEpisodesOriginally released
1158 January 2021 (2021-01-08)
2511 June 2021 (2021-06-11)
3275 October 2023 (2023-10-05)

Part 1 (2021)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
part
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [15]
11"Chapter 1 – Le Collier de la reine"Louis LeterrierGeorge Kay8 January 2021 (2021-01-08)
Assane Diop plans the theft of an expensive diamond necklace, once owned by Marie-Antoinette, which his father Babakar had been accused of stealing from the wealthy Pellegrini family 25 years earlier. He enlists the help of a group of loan sharks, to whom he owes money. Under the alias "Paul Sernine", Assane attends an auction for the necklace, hosted by the Pellegrinis at the Louvre. He makes the winning bid, but the loan sharks, disguised as museum security guards, double-cross him and steal the necklace. However, their getaway goes awry and they are arrested, while Assane ends up in possession of the diamonds and walks free. Later that night, while investigating the case, a police detective named Youssef Guédira notices that it bears a striking resemblance to the stories of Arsène Lupin, and then realizes that "Paul Sernine" is an anagram of Lupin's name. The day after the heist, Assane gives his son, Raoul, a copy of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar, gifted to him by Babakar, who died in prison by an apparent suicide shortly after being convicted for the original necklace theft.
22"Chapter 2 – L'Illusion"Louis LeterrierGeorge Kay and François Uzan8 January 2021 (2021-01-08)
Assane's best friend, antiquarian Benjamin Férel, informs him that the queen's necklace was unlikely to ever have been deconstructed after being stolen as had been previously claimed by the Pellegrini family. Assane begins doubting that his father was responsible for the initial theft and confronts Juliette Pellegrini, who acknowledges that her family's story about the necklace's recovery was a lie concocted to drum up publicity, but affirms her belief in Babakar's guilt. Unsatisfied, Assane gets himself placed in jail so that he can speak to Étienne Comet, a man who worked at the prison library during his father's incarceration. A sickly Comet leads Assane to a copy of The Confessions of Arsène Lupin, with annotations from his father spelling out the phrase "I am innocent—framed by Anne Pellegrini". Assane escapes prison and finds Anne, who admits that she had instructed Babakar to sign a false confession at the urging of an Inspector Gabriel Dumont. Assane recognizes Dumont as the police officer who turned him over to social services following Babakar's death. Meanwhile, Guédira continues to investigate the Arsène Lupin connection, happening upon Babakar's case file.
33"Chapter 3 – Le Commissaire Dumont"Louis LeterrierFrançois Uzan8 January 2021 (2021-01-08)
After learning that Inspector Dumont was responsible for handling the case against his father, Assane kidnaps the now-Commissioner Dumont from one of Paris' town halls and tries to force him into confessing to having framed Babakar. 25 years earlier, a younger Dumont figures out that Hubert Pellegrini, who had recently had the necklace's insurance policy increased, masterminded its disappearance and set Babakar up to take the fall. When he realizes that Dumont is building a case against him for insurance fraud, Hubert mentions his powerful connections and threatens to have the police officer's wife harmed, which convinces Dumont to trick Anne into getting Babakar to sign the confession. In the present, Dumont maintains that he legitimately believed Babakar was guilty, although Assane manages to get him to admit to having accepted bribes from criminals in order to pad his salary. However, the interrogation grinds to a halt when an enraged Assane accidentally reveals his identity. The police, meanwhile, scramble to locate their commissioner, and Assane escapes just before they can catch him. Dumont is rescued but does not reveal any information about the identity of his kidnapper. Later, Guédira discovers Dumont's involvement with the original investigation and connects it to the necklace's theft and the abduction.
44"Chapter 4 – Volte-face"Marcela SaidGeorge Kay, François Uzan, Eliane Montane8 January 2021 (2021-01-08)
Assane finds Dumont again and coerces him into providing more information about Hubert Pellegrini. Dumont gives him the name of Fabienne Bériot, a former investigative journalist who was sued for defamation by Hubert after she publicly denounced his corruption in a book titled Dirty Money: The Pellegrini System. Fabienne agrees to team up with Assane and helps him acquire a tape connecting the entrepreneur's arms dealing to a deadly terrorist attack on a French embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Under the alias "Salvator812", Assane posts an image from the tape on Twitter, threatening to release the full video. Hubert publicly denies the allegations, and his henchman Léonard Koné begins stalking Fabienne. Meanwhile, Guédira is removed from the necklace investigation by Dumont, who realizes the detective is closing in on the truth about his involvement in the original case. A heavily disguised Assane's plan to expose Hubert on the talk show The Other Edition fails when Hubert, who is friends with the show's host, manages to have the footage altered. Juliette, now convinced of her father's innocence, reveals to him that Assane is behind the accusations, as well as the Louvre heist. Léonard attacks Fabienne in her home and demands to know where Assane lives, but Fabienne refuses to give him the information. To his horror, Assane returns to discover her body hanging from the ceiling.
55"Chapter 5 – Étretat"Marcela SaidGeorge Kay and François Uzan8 January 2021 (2021-01-08)
Following Fabienne's death, Assane gives her dog, J'accuse, to Benjamin. On Raoul's birthday, Assane surprises him with a top hat and cape and takes him and Claire on a train trip to a Lupin-themed festival in Étretat. Léonard, who has begun pursuing Assane, follows the family onto the train, with orders from Hubert to get rid of Assane but to leave Claire and Raoul alone. Assane spots Léonard and fights him in a storage closet at the back of the train, managing to lock him inside. As the train pulls into its destination, however, Léonard escapes the closet and sits beside Raoul. In an attempt to manage the situation, Assane instructs his family to disembark ahead of him and manipulates the local police into arresting Léonard by suggesting that he is Paul Sernine. After Assane catches up, the family makes it to the festival without incident. While Raoul explores the beach by himself, a concerned Claire questions Assane about Léonard but grows distressed when he avoids telling her the truth. Assane promises that he will stop hiding things from her in the future and asks her for one more chance to prove himself. Léonard, meanwhile, is released from police custody and kidnaps Raoul. Claire becomes worried upon noticing that she cannot see Raoul on the beach, and she and Assane begin a fruitless search for him. Guédira appears and calls out to Assane, addressing him quizzically as "Lupin".

Part 2 (2021)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
part
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [15]
61"Chapter 6"Ludovic BernardGeorge Kay and François Uzan11 June 2021 (2021-06-11)
Guédira informs Assane and Claire that he saw Raoul struggling with Léonard in a parking lot, and that the two drove away. Claire is horrified and blames Assane for the kidnapping; Assane unsuccessfully tries to reassure her that he will bring Raoul back to her safely. Guédira, aware that Assane is the man he is searching for, offers to help him track Léonard down, and the two steal a car and give chase. Remaining in Étretat, Claire contacts the local police but is upset by the lack of urgency in their response and returns to Paris, intending to seek help from Benjamin. Meanwhile, Assane and Guédira locate Léonard in the town of Bourneville and tail him to an abandoned mansion, where Léonard, who has Raoul bound and gagged, is lying in wait. Guédira quietly contacts Sofia Belkacem and asks her for assistance, but Assane ties him up inside the car after revealing that he knows that Guédira is a police officer. Assane enters the house, fights Léonard, and throws him out of a window. However, Léonard, who has locked Raoul in the boot of his car, manages to stand up, douses the car in gasoline, and sets it alight. When he sees the burning vehicle and realizes what has happened, Assane is devastated and breaks down. A moment later, Belkacem appears and arrests him.
72"Chapter 7"Ludovic BernardGeorge Kay, Soiliho Bodin, Nicolas Clément11 June 2021 (2021-06-11)
Prior to Belkacem's arrival, Guédira escapes his bindings and successfully rescues Raoul from Léonard’s car without Assane's knowledge. Afterwards, he is informed that Dumont wants Raoul taken to the Park Hyatt hotel in central Paris, where Hubert and Juliette are hosting an event in honor of their foundation. Although confused, Guédira complies with the order. Hubert and Dumont hold Raoul hostage at the hotel, expecting Assane to walk into their trap. Assane, meanwhile, is extremely relieved when Belkacem tells him that nothing but a soda can was found in the boot of the car. He escapes police custody, steals another car, and drives to Paris, where he uses voice-altering technology to make himself sound like Hubert in order to successfully rescue Raoul from his captors. Unbeknownst to Assane, Claire has uncovered the truth of his activities after happening upon an image of his disguised appearance on The Other Edition. She confirms her fears with Benjamin and, desperate with worry for her son's safety, attempts to negotiate his release with Hubert directly, but Hubert forces her to betray Assane in exchange. When Assane brings Raoul back home, a number of Hubert's associates, led by Pascal Oblet, await him there. However, after Claire begs Pascal for a moment alone with Raoul, she manages to tell Assane to run away.
83"Chapter 8"Hugo GélinGeorge Kay and Camille Couasse11 June 2021 (2021-06-11)
Assane escapes from Pascal and his men and hides in the roof above Claire's apartment, where, to his dismay, he hears Claire tearfully telling Raoul that Assane is dangerous, and that she doesn't want him to come near them again. Having once again failed to ensnare Assane, Hubert makes plans for an upcoming charity concert for Juliette's foundation with a young stockbroker named Philippe Courbet, revealing that he intends to send 85% of the donations brought in during the event to a personal offshore bank account in the Cayman Islands. Meanwhile, Assane and Benjamin come up with an elaborate plan to weaken Hubert that involves Assane seducing Juliette by taking her on a joyride around Paris and pretending to steal a priceless Pissaro painting for her. The plan goes without a hitch, as Assane manipulates Juliette into talking to her mother about Hubert's crimes during the 1990s. When Juliette visits her, Anne admits that the necklace theft was an insurance scam, and that Hubert had hired Babakar with the intention of framing him for it. Juliette is shocked and urges Anne to denounce Hubert to the police. After learning the truth from Anne, Guédira and Captain Laugier arrest Hubert while he is meeting with Courbet.
94"Chapter 9"Hugo GélinGeorge Kay and Steve Bailie11 June 2021 (2021-06-11)
Laugier and Belkacem interrogate Hubert, who is uncooperative but does reveal Assane's real name. The police are ultimately forced to let Hubert go after he calls in a favor from the minister of the interior. Pascal discovers that Benjamin is Assane's accomplice and informs Hubert, who instructs Léonard to tail Benjamin in order to find out where Assane lives. Hubert also secretly arranges for Pascal to murder Léonard in Assane's apartment and to frame Assane for the crime. Their scheme is a success, and when Assane discovers what has happened and realizes that the police are on their way, he goes on the run and tells Benjamin to do the same. That night, Assane's identity is publicly revealed, and he immediately becomes the most notorious criminal in France. Over the next few days, Assane and Benjamin hide out, managing to evade capture using a secret bunker that connects to the Catacombs of Paris. Meanwhile, after finding a coded message from Assane, Guédira recovers a USB drive among the evidence taken from the apartment that contains footage of Dumont's interrogation, in which he admits to his having accepted illegal bribes, as well as more papers that link him to Babakar's case.
105"Chapter 10"Hugo GélinGeorge Kay and Sumerah Srivastav[16]11 June 2021 (2021-06-11)
Belkacem receives evidence from the police laboratory suggesting that Assane was not Léonard's murderer. Guédira informs her and Laugier about Dumont's corruption, and the three resolve to arrest him at the Pellegrinis' concert at the Théâtre du Châtelet that evening. Assane is smuggled into the theater with assistance from a disguised Benjamin and Philippe Courbet, actually an accomplice of Assane and Benjamin whom they had found attempting to steal Arsène Lupin books. When the music starts, Assane sneaks into Hubert's private box, holding him at knifepoint and forcing him to confess to having framed Babakar and orchestrated his murder, as well as the murders of Fabienne and Léonard and the kidnapping of Raoul. Assane is chased extensively through the theater by Hubert's men but manages to get onstage, where he publicly accuses Hubert of all of his crimes, including stealing from the foundation. He succeeds in evading the police by disguising himself as a firefighter, and sends Guédira a recording of Hubert's confession. While Guédira, Laugier, and Belkacem take Hubert and Dumont into custody, Assane steals a speedboat and arranges a reconciliatory meeting with Claire and Raoul on a nearby bridge. He apologizes for the pain his actions have caused them and tells them that he needs to stay away for their safety. As the police approach, he runs off into the night.

Part 3 (2023)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
part
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [17]
111"Chapter 1"Ludovic BernardGeorge Kay5 October 2023 (2023-10-05)
One year after Assane's showdown with Hubert Pellegrini, he lives incognito in Marseille. Assane remains the most wanted man in France and has unintentionally become a folk hero. Claire and Raoul, meanwhile, are tormented by constant media harassment. Assane is furious at their treatment and decides to return to Paris, initially approaching Claire with a plan to spirit her and Raoul out of the country, but Claire is upset with Assane and rebuffs his offer, telling him that the only way he could truly repay them would be to turn himself in. Undeterred, Assane plots to fund their escape by stealing an exorbitantly expensive black pearl from a luxury boutique located at the Place Vendôme, sending a letter to the shop's owner as well as the staff of the newspaper The Objector, explicitly stating his intentions. A squad led by Belkacem is summoned to the scene, where they find a large crowd of Assane's supporters eagerly awaiting the burglary. Although he has not been assigned to the case, Guédira decides to tag along and mingles with the fans. Helped by Benjamin and another childhood friend, Bruno, both disguised as BRI officers, Assane's heist is successful. He escapes across the high roofs surrounding the square but fails to get a foothold on one of his attempts to jump to an adjacent building, and plummets to the streets below.
122"Chapter 2"Ludovic Bernard and Daniel GrouGeorge Kay, François Uzan, Tony Saint5 October 2023 (2023-10-05)
Assane survives his fall, having planned to fake his death using an airbag and a vial of his own blood. His seemingly lifeless body is spirited off in an ambulance by Benjamin and Philippe Courbet before the police can arrive on the scene. Dressed in lab coats, Philippe and Benjamin use a broken stethoscope to successfully manipulate a doctor at the morgue into confirming the death, and the news of Assane's demise breaks shortly after. A funeral is held for him at Père-Lachaise Cemetery, where Guédira, skeptical of the reality of Assane's death, demands that the casket be opened, to the horror of Claire and Raoul. After the event has finished, Assane escapes the casket through a tunnel underneath the cemetery and reunites with Benjamin, who has managed to find a dealer who can get twenty million euros for the pearl. However, Assane's plans are put on hold when he receives a phone call from a woman claiming to be his mother, Mariama, to whom he had last spoken in 1998, when she was serving a prison sentence in Senegal. She pleads with Assane for help, telling him that she has been kidnapped and that her captors are requesting the black pearl as ransom.
133"Chapter 3"Daniel GrouGeorge Kay and François Uzan5 October 2023 (2023-10-05)
Frustrated that his ideas about Assane's connections to Arsène Lupin are still not being taken seriously by his colleagues, Guédira makes a deal with Objector journalist Fleur Bélanger to provide her with his evidence. The resulting story ultimately winds up rekindling public interest in Arsène Lupin. Like Guédira, Raoul is refusing to accept Assane's death, leading Claire to grow worried about his mental state. She gives her phone number to Raoul's new basketball coach, Alex, and asks him to let her know if her son is having any difficulties. Mariama's kidnappers order Assane to steal a painting by Edouard Manet, currently in the illegal possession of a gang leader named Cisco. In disguise, Assane ingratiates himself with Cisco's gang, managing to gain a position as a getaway driver in a robbery that they are planning. With some help from gadgets designed by Benjamin, Assane double-crosses the gang, leaving them to be arrested by the police, and makes off with the painting, which he gives to Ferdinand, one of the kidnappers, at an arranged rendez-vous point. Having placed a tracking device made by Benjamin onto the painting, Assane impulsively decides to follow Ferdinand to try and locate Mariama.
144"Chapter 4"Daniel GrouGeorge Kay and François Uzan5 October 2023 (2023-10-05)
While at work, Claire is informed that the doctor who examined Assane's body is not in the hospital's database. Beginning to have doubts about what happened to Assane, she finds Raoul's written attempts to prove that his father is alive, in which he has highlighted the name of the Arsène Lupin story Edith Swan-Neck. After a semi-incognito trip to the library, Claire acquires the book and, while reading it, stumbles upon the phrase "with Lupin, there's no such thing as death". Meanwhile, Assane is forced by the kidnappers to plan the theft of a bracelet belonging to Tara Xang, wife of real estate magnate Max Moller, both of whom will be appearing at a gala at the Château de Thoiry. In preparation, Assane shows Benjamin how to escape through a hedge maze on the grounds of the château. Assane and Benjamin appear at the gala, posing as footmen. Unbeknownst to Benjamin, the actual price that Mariama's kidnappers had demanded was his own imprisonment. When Assane slips the bracelet from Xang's wrist, he drops it on the ground. As Benjamin leaps to pick it up, he is immediately spotted by Moller, who orders his capture. A panic-stricken Benjamin dashes out of the château into the maze but is horrified to find that a large hedge is blocking the path that had been specified for him. At that moment, Guédira and Belkacem, who had previously been called in by Assane, appear on the scene and arrest him.
155"Chapter 5"Xavier GensGeorge Kay, Adam Usden, François Uzan5 October 2023 (2023-10-05)
Despite Assane's betrayal, Benjamin staunchly refuses to give him up to the police. However, Guédira is shocked when he discovers Assane sitting in his office. Assane promises that he will allow himself to be arrested if Guédira helps him out. Although apprehensive, Guédira accepts the offer. Assane disguises Guédira as a collector of stolen art and instructs him to meet with Manon, another of the kidnappers, and Ferdinand, in order to buy the Manet painting from them. Assane calls Belkacem and tips her off about the trade. As the deal is being done, she arrives and arrests Manon, while Ferdinand manages to escape. Assane tails Ferdinand and discovers that he is an accomplice of Jean-Luc Keller, a man whose boxing club Assane had joined as a teenager. Keller had forced Assane and Bruno to take part in a jewellery theft, but he had been the only one arrested for the crime and has carried a vendetta against Assane ever since. Under the guise of granting him an interview, Claire meets with Objector journalist Arnold de Garmeaux, who was present at the morgue when Assane's body was inspected, and asks him to describe the attending doctor to a sketch artist. She is startled when the sketch turns out to be a portrait of Benjamin. Claire visits Benjamin in prison and deceives him into thinking that Assane had confessed everything to her; Benjamin responds by asking what Assane's current plans are. Having received confirmation that Assane is alive, Claire begins to weep with joy.
166"Chapter 6"Xavier GensKam Odedra, George Kay, François Uzan5 October 2023 (2023-10-05)
In retaliation for Manon's arrest, Keller orders Ferdinand to kill Claire and Raoul. Claire notices Ferdinand stalking her and manages to evade him, but her worries about future attacks lead her to invite Alex, Raoul's basketball coach, to stay for dinner. Claire has become smitten with Alex due to his softly-spoken bravery and his protectiveness of Raoul. After Raoul has gone to bed, Claire attempts to kiss Alex, but to her dismay, he gently turns down her advances and leaves after showing her how to set up her alarm system. The following morning, Claire finds a ketchup bottle standing upside-down in the refrigerator, a quirk of Assane's that she had first noticed when they were teenagers, and realizes that Alex is in fact Assane. Meanwhile, Mariama manages to escape captivity and places an advertisement in The Objector, asking Assane to meet her. Assane and his mother enjoy a happy reunion. Keller is outraged by the loss of Mariama and Ferdinand's inability to catch Claire, so he throws Ferdinand from a balcony and decides to take care of Assane's family himself. Claire happily lies in bed, with her romantic feelings for Assane fully rekindled, but grows terrified when she hears Keller begin to break down the door of her apartment.
177"Chapter 7"Xavier GensGeorge Kay, Adam Usden, François Uzan5 October 2023 (2023-10-05)
Claire hides in a closet with Raoul and throws Keller off the trail by making a call to her home phone, in which she implies that neither she nor Raoul are there and that a police officer will be visiting. Afterwards, she calls Assane and begs him to pick her and Raoul up. Assane brings Claire and Raoul to his hideout, where they meet Mariama; he promises that he will get all of them out of Paris. Assane and Mariama infiltrate the offices of the minister for the interior and steal his phone. After threatening to send the contents of the phone to the press, Assane orders the minister to let Manon out of prison. Assane finds Manon and asks her to help him catch Keller. She is initially reluctant but has a change of heart when Assane explains Keller's manipulative behaviour. She calls Keller and tells him that she has found a buyer for the black pearl at the Arc de Triomphe. When Keller arrives for the rendez-vous, he finds only Assane, who has called the police. Keller realizes that he has been set up and tries to run, but he is captured. Making good on his earlier promise, Assane allows Guédira to arrest him, on the condition that Benjamin be set free. Claire arrives at the train station the following morning with Raoul and Mariama in tow, eagerly awaiting Assane's arrival. However, it is Benjamin who turns up, carrying a letter from Assane in which he explains his actions and assures a heartbroken Claire how much he loves her. Assane settles into life in jail but is shocked when he receives an envelope from a neighbouring inmate containing a photograph of Assane as a teenager holding an Arsène Lupin book, Cagliostro’s Revenge. The fellow prisoner turns out to be none other than Hubert Pellegrini.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Omar Sy (pictured above in 2020) stars as Assane Diop

On 19 July 2018, Netflix ordered a new series, to be produced by Gaumont Film Company, about the character Arsène Lupin, portrayed by Omar Sy. In a 2018 interview, Sy revealed that "Arsene Lupin, who is an iconic and charismatic character, will take on a new life in this modern adaptation, unique in its genre".[18] Netflix confirmed that George Kay and François Uzan would be the showrunners, with Louis Leterrier directing the first three episodes.[19][20][21]

Initially, it was planned that Sy would appear as Arsène Lupin himself. However, upon being brought in as the series' showrunner and main writer, George Kay proposed that Sy should instead play a newly created character: Assane Diop, the son of a Senegalese chauffeur, who decides to style himself after the gentleman thief upon discovering Maurice Leblanc's books as a teenager in the 1990s.[22] This allowed the series to explore modern-day cultural and racial issues in France. Sy commented that "the character had to be a Frenchman from today. That's why we have a black guy of African descent, living in the projects. It's a new face of France."[23] Kay described the notion of "good arrogance" as being integral to his conception of Assane's personality: "It's arrogance you don't object to; you just admire [it]. It's: 'I'm going to literally take all your life savings. But if I do it with a big enough smile on my face, you kind of don't mind.'"[23] Sy identified with Kay's characterization of Assane, stating that "my mom's a cleaner. My dad used to work in a factory. Coming from where I come from, I had to be arrogant [...] To be accepted, sometimes you have to pretend. The good arrogance helps you."[23]

Kay was also keen to emphasize how Assane's lifestyle affects his relationships with his estranged wife, Claire, and their son, Raoul: "They're fundamental to the whole being of Assane Diop. He has to work that out, because that's a permanent situation. He has the mother of his child and his child—that's never going to change."[24] The dynamic between Assane and Claire differs substantially from the depictions of women in the series' source material, with Kay noting that the original Arsène Lupin was "ludicrously successful with women in a very sort of disposable way, which probably felt at the time quite fun but now feels really dated. I don't want to write that guy, I want to write a guy who's amazing at breaking into a museum but also can't work out how to explain certain things to his kid or ex-partner."[25] In an interview with the French publication 20 Minutes, Ludivine Sagnier voiced her appreciation for the fact that although Claire continues to care deeply about Assane, she is able to remain true to herself and her desires.[26]

On developing the character of Youssef Guédira, a fellow Lupin devotee who happens to be a police detective charged with hunting Assane down, Kay said that "a lot of our favourite shows have their own podcasts and fanbases and all of that stuff, and I thought it'd be cool if that was incorporated into the series itself, so it becomes like a 'live' adaptation within the series. It takes someone who knows Lupin to recognize he's here at all, and then to start exploring that as an idea felt quite fun because you can back-reference stuff, you can lay a load of breadcrumbs that relate to the books and bring those back in again."[25] Kay commented further on the series' depiction of the French police force, specifically Guédira's immediate superiors, captain Romain Laugier and lieutenant Sofia Belkacem: "It's not that they can't get Assane, it's just that they can't agree on how best to do it in the context of their own hierarchy, so that makes them more rounded as characters."[25]

Filming[edit]

Filming of the first five episodes was completed primarily in Paris, on various streets and at the Louvre, both inside and out.[27] According to research by Condé Nast Traveler, other important locations included La Naumachie pond at Parc Monceau and Musée Nissim de Camondo on rue de Monceau; the latter stands in as the Pellegrini home and is open to the public.[28] Other listed locations include Collège-lycée Jacques-Decour, a parking garage on Rue d'Abbeville, the Marché Biron flea market, the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Pont des Arts, L'Appartement Saint-Martin (near Porte Saint-Martin), and the Maison d'Arrêt de Bois-d'Arcy prison. The publication adds that parts of the fifth episode were filmed in the town of Étretat, which is located along the coast of Normandy.[29] This location is significant because Maurice Leblanc, who created the character Arsène Lupin, lived in the municipality.[30][31][32]

The second set of five episodes were already filmed by the end of 2020 and were released on 11 June 2021.[33][34]

On 18 November 2021, Netflix and Omar Sy confirmed that filming was underway in Paris for the series' third part.[35] Shooting continued into 2022. On 25 February, production was temporarily halted after €300,000 worth of equipment was stolen from the set, resuming three days later.[36] Many of the exteriors were filmed at Place Vendôme, while scenes set at the Hôtel de Beauvau were filmed at the Italian embassy in Paris.[37] A teaser trailer for the show's third part was released during Netflix's Tudum event in September 2022.[38] On 20 April 2023, Netflix announced that part 3 would premiere on the platform on 5 October of that year and that it would consist of seven episodes, with Ludovic Bernard, Daniel Grou, and Xavier Gens directing.[39][4]

Music[edit]

The series' music is composed by Mathieu Lamboley, who also appears briefly in the tenth episode as the conductor of the orchestra at the Pellegrinis' concert. On writing the score, Lamboley commented: "To me, Lupin is all about heritage, a father passing on a literary heritage to his son, and the latter continuing the legacy in the present time. The question then became, how do I translate this in music? I decided to take a hybrid approach and mix my classical heritage with more modern sounds [...] and this is what you can hear in the soundtrack: classical writing blended together with hip hop beats."[40]

Lupin (Music from Part 1 of the Netflix Original Series)
Soundtrack album by
Mathieu Lamboley
Released8 January 2021 (2021-01-08)
GenreOrchestral
Length34:00
LabelMaisie Music Publishing
Lupin (Music from Part 1 of the Netflix Original Series)
No.TitleLength
1."Arsène"2:27
2."Pellegrini"1:52
3."Juliette"1:24
4."Étretat"1:27
5."L'Emeraude"3:13
6."L'Aiguille Mystérieuse"2:00
7."Gentleman"2:07
8."Cambrioleur"1:18
9."Les Confidences d'Assane"3:02
10."Coffre-fort"2:38
11."Claire"1:46
12."Le Voyageur"1:47
13."Diamants"1:37
14."Louvre"3:11
15."Lupin"3:52
Total length:34:00
Lupin (Music from Part 2 of the Netflix Original Series)
Soundtrack album by
Mathieu Lamboley
Released11 June 2021 (2021-06-11)
GenreOrchestral
Length35:52
LabelMaisie Music Publishing
Lupin (Music from Part 2 of the Netflix Original Series)
No.TitleLength
1."Le Secret"3:51
2."Coulisses"1:53
3."L'Indice"1:23
4."Agent Ferel & Cie"1:20
5."Le Manoir Mystérieux"3:34
6."Léonard"1:50
7."En Scène!"1:43
8."Duel"2:30
9."Sueur Froide"2:18
10."L'Arnaque"2:00
11."Les Huit Coups"2:41
12."Les Milliards"3:21
13."La Symphonie de Lupin"5:12
14."Dans L'Ombre d'Assane"2:12
Total length:35:52
Lupin, Pt. 3 (Soundtrack from the Netflix series)
Soundtrack album by
Mathieu Lamboley
Released29 September 2023 (2023-09-29)
Genre
Length55:15
LabelNetflix Music LLC
Lupin, Pt. 3 (Soundtrack from the Netflix series)
No.TitleLength
1."Perle Noire"2:54
2."Carte Postale"3:38
3."Place Vendôme"7:08
4."Inspecteur Ganimard"1:54
5."Labyrinthe"5:13
6."Père-Lachaise"3:58
7."Le Fugitif"2:55
8."Fleur"1:10
9."La Rançon"2:51
10."Ferel"1:44
11."Kidnapping"3:44
12."Filature"2:22
13."Les Huits Coups Variation & Remix"2:00
14."Etretat Variation & Remix"2:18
15."Ave Maria"2:20
16."La Symphonie de Lupin – Version 2"8:57
Total length:55:15

Reception[edit]

Viewership[edit]

Lupin is the first French series to rank among the top ten on Netflix in the United States, reaching number three on 10 January 2021.[41] It was ranked number one in France and many other countries in Europe, including Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Denmark, and Sweden, as well as other countries such as Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa.[42]

As of 31 January 2021, the show was watched by 76 million households, making it the second-most-successful debut ever for an original Netflix show, after Bridgerton.[8][43] In April, Netflix revealed that Lupin was the most watched title on the company's streaming service in the first quarter of 2021.[44]

On 21 July 2021, it was reported that 54 million households watched the second part of the show, a drop compared to the first installment. Lupin still managed to become one of the biggest shows during the second quarter of 2021.[45][46]

Between the release of part 2 in June 2021 and part 3 in October 2023, Netflix altered its methods for calculating a series' success, dividing the number of hours it was viewed by its total length for an estimation of total completed viewings. In its first four days on the platform, part 3 of Lupin was viewed approximately 11.6 million times, topping the international (non-English-language) television chart[47] and becoming the strongest launch for a new season of an international show since 2021.[48] Part 3 reached number one in many countries in Europe and Latin America and hit number two in the United States on 9 October,[49] and again on 11 October.[50] By January 2024, part 3 had received 50 million completed viewings.[51]

Lupin is one of the most successful Netflix series in a language other than English, with all three parts achieving placements on the streamer's international top ten.[52] In a press release published in October 2023, Netflix described the show's first two parts as "mainstays on the Most Popular Non-English TV list".[47]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the first part holds an approval rating of 98% with an average rating of 7.70/10, based on 44 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Omar Sy effortlessly hits every mark in Lupin, an engrossing espionage thriller that lives up to its source material and then some."[53] On Metacritic, the first part has a score of 82 out of 100 based on 8 reviews.[54]

Writing for The New Paper, Jonathan Roberts stated that "if [Lupin] was a film, it would be a contender for the year's best".[55] Daniel D'Addario of Variety wrote that the cliffhanger at the end of the first series "will leave any viewer who's taken the ride eager for more."[56] Rolling Stone's Alan Sepinwall praised Sy's performance, writing that "it all works because [he] is so magnetic and charming that questioning plot logic feels wildly besides the point."[57] Karen Han of Slate wrote that Lupin "doesn't waste a single minute, packing each and every moment full of suspense".[58]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second part holds an approval rating of 96%, with an average rating of 8.10/10, based on 28 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Smart, sexy, and stylish, Lupin's highly bingeable second season is perfect summer viewing".[59] On Metacritic, the second part has a score of 80 out of 100 based on 7 reviews.[60]

The show's third part received similarly positive reviews, although some critics felt that the new set of episodes suffered due to lower stakes for Assane's character.[61][62] Nonetheless, Sy's performance was acclaimed once again, with Leila Latif of The Guardian calling him a "born action star".[63] Praise was also given to the expanded roles for the series' supporting cast, particularly Ludivine Sagnier as Claire.[64][65]

Cultural impact[edit]

Lupin has been credited with re-popularizing the character of Arsène Lupin, both in France and internationally. Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar, the first collection of Lupin stories written by Maurice Leblanc, topped the children's literature book charts in France following the release of the series.[66][67]

The show also boosted tourism in Étretat, featured extensively in the fifth episode, to the point where the town's permanent residents struggled to deal with the influx of visitors.[68]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Black Reel Awards for Television Outstanding Drama Series George Kay Nominated [69]
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Omar Sy Nominated [70]
African-American Film Critics Association Awards Special Achievement – Best International Production Lupin Won [71]
Edinburgh TV Awards Best International Drama Lupin Won [72]
Gotham Awards Outstanding Performance in New Series Omar Sy Nominated [73]
Location Managers Guild International Awards Outstanding Locations in a Contemporary Television Series Thomas de Sambi & Valérie Segond Won [74]
Rose d'Or Awards Performance of the Year Omar Sy Won [75]
Satellite Awards Best Television Series – Drama Lupin Nominated
Best Actor in a Drama / Genre Series Omar Sy Won
2022 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Foreign Language Series Lupin Nominated [76]
Celebration of Black Cinema and Television Actor – Television Omar Sy Won [77]
Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Drama Lupin Nominated [78]
Best Actor in a Television Series – Drama Omar Sy Nominated [78]
American Society of Cinematographers Awards Motion Picture, Limited Series or Pilot Made for Television Christopher Nuyens Nominated [79]
British Academy Television Awards Best International Programme Lupin Nominated [80]
National Film Awards UK Best Actor in a TV Series 2022 Omar Sy Nominated [81]
Black Reel Awards for Television Outstanding Actor, Drama Series Omar Sy Nominated [82]
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best International Series Lupin Nominated [83]
Kinéo Awards Best Actress Ludivine Sagnier Won [84][85]
International Emmy Awards Best Drama Series Lupin Nominated [86]
2024 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Foreign Language Series Lupin Won [87]
2024 Digital Creation Genie Awards (PIDS Enghien) Best Visual Effects – Series Thierry Onillon, Rodolphe Chabrier, Bruno Sommier, Floran Royer, Mac Guff Nominated [88]
Peabody Awards Entertainment Lupin Nominated [89]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Some publications refer to "part" as "season".[1]

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