French PM's book to be made into a film

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (above) co-wrote In The Shadows with fellow right-wing political insider Gilles Boyer.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (above) co-wrote In The Shadows with fellow right-wing political insider Gilles Boyer.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PARIS • A scathing political thriller co-written by France's new Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is to be made into a film, his publisher said on Monday.

In The Shadows, which is set during the final days of a neck-and- neck French presidential election, is being adapted for the screen by one of the country's best-loved actors, Guillaume Gallienne, according to reports.

"It has been optioned to be adapted and the project has been launched," Philippe's publisher JC Lattes said.

But it refused to divulge any other details of the screen version of the 2011 potboiler.

The book, which Philippe wrote with fellow right-wing political insider Gilles Boyer, caused a minor stir because of the sexism of its principal character - a cold, jaded political adviser known only as the Apparatchik.

Male chauvinism in the French political establishment has become a hot-button issue after incidents in which women members of parliament claimed to have been groped, whistled at or subjected to sexist comments in parliament.

Critics also wondered if the character's lusting after his party's spin doctor because of her attractiveness might be indicative of the prime minister's own sublimated desires.

"Everyone was wondering who the first member of parliament would be to get the trophy," the Apparatchik says of the all-male team's attempts to sleep with her.

Boyer, who wrote another thriller, The Hour Of Truth, with Philippe in 2007, is set to join the prime minister's office as an adviser next month.

Philippe, mayor of the English Channel port of Le Havre and a member of the conservative Republicans party, defected to lead centrist President Emmanuel Macron's government after last month's presidential election.

In another passage in the book, "neither left nor right" centrists like the president are wryly put in their place. "Negotiating with a centrist is like trying to catch an eel in a bowl of olive oil," the Apparatchik says.

According to the Figaro newspaper, the rights to Philippe's novel have been bought by Elzevir Films, with Gallienne said to be directing the story. Gallienne won two prizes at the Cannes film festival in 2013 with his crowd-pleasing comedy Garcons Et Guillaume, A Table!.

He not only wrote and directed the work, but also acted in it.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2017, with the headline 'French PM's book to be made into a film'. Print Edition | Subscribe