Citroën has reinterpreted its iconic 2CV as a chariot that features in the new Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom movie, as part of a partnership between the French carmaker and Pathé, Trésor Films and the Albert René Editors, creators of the new movie. Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom will stream exclusively on Netflix in the UK in spring 2023.
The 2CV chariot can be seen at various points in the movie and marks a first for Citroën. Its design team sketched and built the model in less than three months, compared to the usual 12 months it takes to create a concept vehicle.
Pierre Leclercq, Citroën’s Global Design Director, said: “The encounter between these two legends of French culture was nothing short of extraordinary. There has been a bond of sincerity and mutual respect between the Citroën and the Asterix movie teams since the beginning. We were presented with this incredible opportunity to create and build a concept chariot from scratch, and we had the most amazing time working on this project. The result is an ode to the 2CV, the legendary car which represents Citroën in all its glory.”
For the chariot, Citroën focused on its core values of comfort, technology and bold design, adding a special touch to the movie. The result is a concept chariot featuring suspension made of a boar’s stomach, and a sunroof and headlights that are operated by fireflies boosted with a magic potion. Another detail is the wheels, made of recycled shields, incorporating Citroën’s iconic chevrons.
The chariot features in different parts of the movie, including when Caesar’s army reaches China, where there is an advertising billboard at the entrance to the country promoting the best car at the time: the 2CV, an incredible chariot made in Gaul, pulled by two horses. This is a subtle allusion to the famous Citroën advertising film made on the Great Wall of China. The wings of the helmet worn by Asterix also feature the new Citroën logo.
Behind the Scenes
Citroën’s participation in the movie didn’t end with the creation of the concept chariot. As part of the partnership, Citroën also provided the film crew with an entirely electric fleet of vehicles for use during filming. The fleet was made up of 10 vehicles: three ë-C4 models, three New C5 Aircross PHEV’s, two ë-SpaceTourers, an ë-Jumpy (ë-Dispatch) and an Ami. Citroën also arranged charging for the vehicles on the film sets at Bry-sur-Marne and Bretigny-Sur-Orge.
Sustainability was a key element of the partnership right throughout the filming schedule. The electric fleet provided by Citroën was one of the Asterix team’s contribution to decarbonisation. The team also worked with an agency that implemented processes to limit waste as much as possible.
For example, the costumes were recycled and reused for other purposes, while two tonnes of wood were saved by using recycled cardboard as part of the movie. Also, all the wooden crates used during filming were given to two urban farms in the Ile-de-France region.
The film will be released for UK audiences in spring 2023 exclusively on Netflix.