Luc Besson Adapting The Mechanics of the Heart into Animation

February 5, 2008
Source: Variety

The Mechanics of the Heart

There used to be a time where I'd say that anything French filmmaker Luc Besson touched would be solid gold, but he has since then destroyed my impressions with that awful animated movie Arthur and the Invisibles. Oddly, it wasn't Luc Besson's fault at all, it was the studio's, who butchered it for an American release with terrible dubbing and editing. One of the most interesting bits of news to pop up the last few days was an announcement that EuropaCorp, Besson's production and distribution company, had bought the rights to Mathias Malzieu's novel The Mechanics of the Heart and would be turning it into a 3D animated movie. If things go a bit better this time, maybe this movie could actually turn out much better than Arthur and the Invisibles.

The novel was written by Mathias Malzieu and is originally titled La Mecanique du coeur (which means The Mechanics of the Heart) in French. You can pick up a copy on It later went on to inspire a music album by Dionysos. Set in 1874, the story is about a young man whose heart was replaced at birth with a clock. He should avoid strong emotions, and above all love, but can't keep his heart under control. What a wonderfully inspirational idea just right there and I'm sure the French novel has a lot more to it as well.

The novel's writer, Mathias Malzieu, will write the script and co-direct. Stephane Berla, who directed Dionysos' music videos, will co-direct and Joann Sfar, who contributed graphics for the book and album (as seen below), will collaborate in the novel-to-screen rendering. The photo below is from the Dionysos album, but is the exact same graphic used on the novel as well. It should give you an idea of the look and feeling of the animation. From that graphic alone and the description of the story above, this has quickly shot to top of my list for animated movies I'm looking forward to, which is very rare considering Pixar's dominance.

A release date hasn't been set, but considering the time frame required for animated movies, expect a release no earlier than 2010 or 2011. In the meantime, head to to pick up a copy of the novel or just wait for us to bring you more updates during its development.

The Mechanics of the Heart

Find more posts: Movie News



Someone needs to give Luc Besson Milla Jovovich's phone number ASAP. I think both of them could use the amazing film that could come with a reunion.

William Mize on Feb 5, 2008


Mathias Malzieu is the lead singer of the band. See also the music video to the song 'Tais Toi Mon Coeur' which is animated in the style of which the film will be.

Robert Pritchard on Feb 18, 2008


I like Joann Sfar, but why didn't they think of Benjamin Lacombe for the film? His images are amazing!!

Nohemí on Jun 16, 2010

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