French gentleman thief series ‘Lupine’ tops ‘Queen’s Gambit’ view on Netflix

The Netflix-produced series “Lupine”, a sleek modern concept of France’s beloved gentile thief, is on its way to 70 million views worldwide in its first month, setting a record for a French TV show, the streaming platform said on Tuesday.

Based on current trends, the series – with Omar Sy of “Untouchable” fame – will have become the go-to place for Netflix’s latest big movie “The Queen’s Gambit” which has 62 million views and other English language hits including “Bridgerton”.

The Netflix projection covers the 28 days to February 5, the company told AFP.

“70 million, that’s crazy,” Omar Sy tweeted. “So proud that Lupine is the first French series to have such international success.”

70 million, that’s crazy !! 🎉

So proud that Lupine is the first French Netflix Original series to be so successful internationally!

It would not have been possible without you. 🙏🏾

Thanks everyone.

– Omar Sy (@OmarSy) January 19, 2021

Only half of the first season’s ten episodes have so far been available on Netflix.

They are at the top of the display charts in about ten countries, including Brazil, Vietnam, Argentina and Spain.

The book from 1905 on which the series is loosely based, “Arsene Lupine – Gentleman Burglar” by the French novelist Maurice Leblanc – has shot to the top of book sales on since the TV show was released.

In the series, based in modern Paris, Sy Assane plays Diop, who uses the gentleman thief and the disguise master as his inspiration in his quest to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted on a rich family.

“For an actor, Lupine is the perfect toy,” Sy told 20 Minutes Daily. “His role is dramatic, but also light, funny, seductive and action-packed,” he said.

Asked why so few black actors played leading roles in French productions, Sy said: “I do not know. But let’s hope we have started something with Lupine”.

The series, produced by Gaumont, was written mostly by the British George Kay, whose previous works include “Killing Eve”, “Criminal” and “The Hour”, in collaboration with the Frenchman Francois Uzan, author of the French series “Family business”, another Netflix production.

Kay told AFP earlier this month that “the good thing about Omar is that when he plays Assane with his charisma and smile, you want him to succeed, even when he breaks the rules”.

“Lupine” has received 7.4 out of 10, according to a compilation of the Internet Movie Database.

The Globe and the Post called it “a magnificent composition,” while the Chicago Tribune said it was “Sys Bond-ian elegance and understated charisma that keep you inscribed.”

Netflix has invested in several original French productions in recent years, including “Plan Coeur” and “La Revolution”, which have received mixed reviews.

The first French Netflix series “Marseille” starring Gerard Depardieu in 2016 was paralyzed by critics, with El Pais calling it “a disaster” and the New York Times saying “it’s getting more complicated and ridiculous as it goes”.