The film had its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is a remake of the 1973 penal-colony drama, also called “Papillon” and starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
“Papillon” follows the story of Henri “Papillon” Charrière (portrayed by Hunnam), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island. Determined to regain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with quirky convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (played by Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to finance Papillon’s escape, ultimately resulting in a bond of lasting friendship.
Dennis Harvey said in his review for Variety, “Noer’s adventure is ultimately a dramatic and dynamic-enough telling of an indelible fact-based story to connect with viewers.”
“Michael and the production team have created an epic retelling of Henri Charrière’s original autobiography,” said Andrew Karpen, CEO of Bleecker Street. “It’s a new vision of determination and redemption.”
Producers are Joey McFarland, David Koplan, Ram Bergman, and Roger Corbi. The deal was negotiated between Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.