Profile: Jean Van Hamme

Profile: Jean Van Hamme

Director of Largo Winch: Deadly Revenge

Jean Van Hamme

Brussels, Belgium, January 6 1939

Van Hamme studied business at university before becoming and journalist and a marketer, but from 1968 he began his professional writing career working around his day job. Eight years later Van Hamme quit his day job to concentrate all of his time on writing and he began to in earnest to pen comics, novels and film scripts. A heroic fantasy comic book series about a Viking named Thorgal gave Van Hamme his big break in 1977 and in the years since he has gone on to become one of Europe’s bestselling comic creators, collaborating with various artists and producing a number of ongoing series, some of which have been continued by other writers. Largo Winch, which was co-created with artist Philippe Franq, is one of Van Hamme’s most popular and profitable franchises with 16 comic volumes to date in print, a handful of novels (also written by Van Hamme), a television series and now a film and it’s forthcoming sequel.

What he’s up to now?
Having declared he was scaling back his comics work to focus on writing films, Van Hamme appears to have backtracked and is currently as busy as he ever was producing comics. Along with Largo Winch, Van Hamme is also authoring the Jason Bourne-alike XIII and Blake and Mortimer, a 1950-set espionage and science fiction strip originated by Van Hamme’s fellow countryman Edgar P Jacobs and first published in Tintin magazine in 1946.

On the film adaptation of his comic
‘I loved the movie 95%. Tomer Sisley doesn’t look like Largo Winch from the comics, but he is how I imagined him in the novels. And, the cherry on the cake is the second opus, which is presently being shot in Belgium with Sharon Stone and Tomer again. It will be even better.’

Interesting fact
Van Hamme wrote the script for Diva, the celebrated cult 1981 French thriller directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix who would go on to make Betty Blue.

Largo Winch – Deadly Revenge DVD out now (Optimum).

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