|보름만에 700만 관객을 동원한 영화 설국열차의 원작자 장마르크 로셰트(그림)씨와 뱅자맹 르그랑(글)씨가 제16회 부천국제만화축제를 찾아 기자간담회를 열었다. 왼쪽이 르그랑씨, 오른쪽이 로셰트씨.(연합뉴스)|
700만 관객을 돌파한 영화 설국열차의 원작 만화에서 시나리오를 담당한 뱅자맹 르그랑 씨는 15일 “지구상 위대한 감독인 봉준호 감독에 의해 작품이 다시 만들어져 기쁘게 생각한다”고 밝혔다.
르그랑 씨와 원작의 그림 작가인 쟝마르크 로셰트 씨는 제16회 부천국제만화축제 행사의 하나로 이날 경기도 부천시 한국만화영상진흥원에서 열린 설국열차 원작자 기자간담회에 참석했다.
르그랑 씨는 “영화는 아직 못 봤지만 제작 단계와 시나리오를 보면서 어떤 특정 부분이 다른 방향으로 제작되면 좋겠다고 생각한 적은 없다”며 “완벽한 걸작으로 생 각하고 봉준호 감독의 낙관주의적 성향도 확실히 볼 수 있었다”고 말했다.
낙관주의를 암시하는 영화의 결말과 달리 원작은 비관적으로 끝나는 것에 대해 “설국열차 1권을 사람들이 거의 전멸하는 내용으로 쓰고 숨진 시나리오 작가 자크로브 씨의 기존 스토리에서 3권까지 이어가는 작업이 힘들었다”며 “만화는 아직 좀 덜 다듬어진 상황이고 3권까지는 (낙관의) 탈출구를 찾기 어려웠다. 4권과 5권을 쓴다면 희망적인 메시지를 담을 수 있을 거라고 생각한다”고 밝혔다.
로셰트 씨는 5권까지 추가로 작업할 계획이 있는지를 묻자 “이어갈지는 생각을 해보겠다”고 답했다.
영화가 인기몰이를 하는 데 대해서는 “영화의 큰 성공과 더불어 만화도 잘 나가고 있다”며 “시작이 기적적이었기 때문에 끝이 나쁠 거란 생각은 해본 적이 없다.
앞으로 더 좋은 성과가 있을 것으로 본다”고 기대했다.
영화에 엑스트라로 참여한 이들은 촬영 도중 에피소드도 밝혔다.
그림을 그리는 자신의 손을 영화에 등장시킨 로셰트 씨는 “많은 이들 앞에서 그 림을 그리는 게 내 일생의 가장 큰 스트레스였다”고 털어놨고 르그랑 씨는 “흰 수염을 붙인 채 모래를 뒤집어쓰고 짧게 출연했는데 주변에서 러시아 사람인 것 같다며 농담할 때 재밌었다”고 말했다.
앞으로 콤비로 또 작업할 가능성이 있는지를 묻자 “향후 작품 계획이 뚜렷하진 않지만 가능성이 없는 것도 아니다”고 밝혔다.
이들은 이날 오후 봉준호 감독과 함께 원작과 영화를 비교하는 부천만화축제 주제 컨퍼런스 행사에 참석할 예정이다.
Minds of Snowpiercer see ‘miracle’ on film
French authors of graphic novel talk about participating in Bong Joon-ho’s film adaptation and late creator Jacques Lob
By Claire Lee
BUCHEON, Gyeonggi Province -- What is it like to see one’s graphic novel being turned into a movie nearly 30 years after it was published?
According to French comic book creators Jean-Marc Rochette and Benjamin Legrand, whose 1984 work “Le Transperceneige”(Snowpiercer) was recently released as a film, it is “very much like a miracle.”
Following the enormous box office success of the star-studded “Snowpiercer,” the story’s original authors visited Korea to watch the movie for the first time at the Bucheon International Comics Festival. The two also participated in the production, Legrand in a cameo and Rochette by creating all the drawings that appear in the film.
The dystopian sci-fi, which features an international cast including Tilda Swinton, Song Kang-ho and Ed Harris, sold seven million tickets as of Wednesday, just 15 days after its release, a first in Korean box office history.
“We are grateful for this miracle,” said Rochette, through an interpreter, during a press conference held in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, on Thursday. “It is such a joy to watch our work being reinterpreted and recreated by someone else, and the whole experience has been very inspiring.”
The graphic novel, which was initially penned by late French author Jacques Lob (1932-1990), tells the story of a post-apocalyptic future in which the remnants of humanity live on a train divided by social class after the arrival of a new ice age.
Lob and artist Rochette together completed and published the first volume of the graphic novel in 1984. Lob died six years later. Rochette, who had always wanted to create sequels to the book, teamed up with author Legrand and published the second and third volumes in 1999. Director Bong Joon-ho first discovered the book series at a comic book shop in Hongdae in 2004. The graphic novel, however, is much darker than the film adaption, according to the Frenchmen.
“Lob was the ultimate pessimist, not me,” Legrand joked, when asked why the original was darker.
“I think Lob came up with this train idea because it keeps running; it is not stuck at one place. The train works as a metaphor; it’s a metaphor for a system that keeps running, although it is flawed. So yes, the first volume was very dark; everyone on the train, regardless of their class, is miserable in it. Writing the sequels to Lob’s work was challenging, and I think volume 4 and 5, if I ever got to work on them, would’ve been relatively more hopeful and positive.”
Rochette and Legrand said three French filmmakers wanted to make a film adaptation of the graphic novel throughout the 1980s.
“The first two offers were not so serious, whereas the third filmmaker was very serious about it,” said Rochette. “But Lob rejected it. I think it all turned out for the better because I don’t think the movie industry in the 1980s had the right technology to recreate the sci-fi themed book on the screen.”
The two also participated in making Bong’s “Snowpiercer.” The filmmaker asked Rochette to create drawings -- mostly portraits of the destitute living on the very last railcar -- that appear in the film. An actor played the role of the artist, though the pictures’ hand is Rochette’s.
“I stayed in a hotel near the studio,” said Rochette, who added that drawing at a film set in front of the film crew and as the camera was rolling was quite an experience.
“And I would wander around near the hotel, looking for dirty pieces of paper on the street. I picked up the dirty scrap papers and drew on them, as the characters in the back cabin live in harrowing living conditions. Director Bong let me do whatever I wanted to do with the drawings so there were no limitations.”
The news conference was held before the special screening of the film provided for Rochette and Legrand. The two, who consider Bong as their “friend,” said they were satisfied with the filmmaker’s script.
“The script was already at the level of a masterpiece,” Legrand said. “I didn’t disagree with anything, and I trusted the director. And it was obvious that the script had an outlook that is relatively more positive than the original.”
“Snowpiercer” opens in theaters in France in October.