We owe much more to James Bobin than we realize Mysterious Benedict Society After Part 1 movie it’s the part 2 that will be released soon, In his early days as a satirical screenwriter, in the early 2000s, he helped Sacha Baron Cohen shape characters like Ali G, Borat, and Bruno .
A few years later, he teamed up with Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement to create the legendary musical sitcom “The Conchords ,” a cult phenomenon that produced two perfect seasons. Following this success in the realm of good-natured humor, he directed ‘The Muppets’, the successful 2011 film ‘reboot’ of Jim Henson’s creatures.
And now, we also owe him an important role, as director of the pilot and producer, in the television adaptation of ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’ (Disney +, from Friday, the 25th), the beloved youth books of Trenton Lee Stewart the part 2 is about to be launched in 2022 July.
For now, the first volume, here published by Ediciones B in 2008. Bobin took a little longer to read one. “I didn’t read any of them until well into the two millennia, when my children were old enough to get close to them,” explains the director in an exclusive interview. “I loved the world where it took place, at the same time so recognizable and so different. I’m a fan of those kinds of universes where every element has a disturbing little twist. ”
For the uninitiated, ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’, book and series, tells the story of four orphans recruited by an eccentric benefactor, Mr. Benedict, to end a global crisis known as The Emergency , a state of panic installed between the population through subliminal messages hidden in media broadcasts.
“When people are anxious or scared it is easy to suggest,” explains Tony Hale’s great Benedict (Buster in ‘Arrested development’). “They panic. They attack each other. Let’s see, look how people are treated. Aggressive, suspicious, unfriendly.
Those responsible for unifying this society divided by lies and polarization (sound familiar ?) Are the intuitive Reynie ( Mystic Inscho ), the brainiac ‘Sticky’ Washington ( Seth B. Carr ), the skilled aerialist Kate ( Emmy DeOliveira ) and the atypical and irritable Constance ( Marta Kessler ), who pretends to sleep so as not to have to talk to her colleagues or dedicates the poetry to them (which immediately breaks into pieces) ‘The tale of the three jerks’.
It might come as a surprise that the real instigators of the adaptation, who commented on the project to Bobin, were Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay, known as writers of ‘The Invitation’ and ‘Destroyer.
A Wounded Woman ‘, two chilling Karyn Kusama films that no one in their right mind would put on their pre-adolescent kids. “But the most interesting thing about Manfredi and Hay is the eclecticism of their careers. They have also written the two parts of ‘Go Patrol.’ They are not defined by genre. They just write what they find interesting.”
As soon as the three friends started talking about the adaptation, Bobin explains, they knew they were watching the same series. “Above all, it should be like spending time with someone who is charming, interesting, smart, funny.
Being in a place where you want to be and with characters that you like . “Of course, it is a delight to accompany that charming central quartet in their investigations and puzzle solving: was it an adventure to get four actors with such exact comic timing and So much joint chemistry? ”We did a very extensive search, as you can imagine.
They had to function very well as a group, complement each other and make each other better. “The charismatic cast also includes, as Mr. Benedict’s right-hand man, the always hilarious Kristen Schaal., former stalker and number one fan (or sole fan) of The Conchords.
Bobin took the most important turn in his career after being a father, or better, after having to do things with his children.
“It’s a bummer that they want to see something and you don’t like it. I started doing things that everyone might like, but for different reasons.”
In the case of ‘The Muppets’, kids could have fun with the plush slapstick and parents appreciate the existential aftertaste. “There was an interesting tonal mix,” says Bobin. “After that movie, I started wondering what I could do with the family adventure comedy genre. I loved that kind of movie as a kid and still love it now. My brain hasn’t matured that much.”
The key series for the week of June They arrived ‘The tour of the Muppets’ and ‘Dora and the Lost City’ , with their references to, respectively, ‘The seventh seal’ and the imperialism of the United Fruit Company. “Jokes that children go unnoticed, but that make parents understand that they are in good hands,” says Bobin. “This series also works on several levels.
Children can watch it to follow the adventure. Parents can delight in Michael Wylie’s production design , with that city between European picturesqueism and brutalism.” Or with a luscious symmetrical wide-shot direction or large split screens – not a sloppy image in the pilot. “For me everything goes back to French cinema. To Jacques Tatifor their symmetrical and angular planes, or later, Jeunet and Caro , graphic artists who left nothing to chance “.