Netflix’s Lupin is an adaptation quite unlike any other – rather than going the Sherlock route and transplanting Maurice Leblanc’s gentleman thief character Arsène Lupin into the present day, the series sees Omar Sy’s character Assane Diop take inspiration from the original stories to commit a series of high-stakes crimes, all with the end goal of exonerating his late father (who was framed for a crime he did not commit).
The series launched in January, with the first five episodes – framed as Lupin Part 1 – following both Assane’s exploits and the Paris police’s efforts to catch him.
Lupin Part 2, also comprised of five episodes and streaming now on Netflix, features many more references to the original Arsène Lupin books, including mentions of the character “Ganimard” – but who is Ganimard, and how does the character factor in to the new Lupin series? Here’s what you need to know.
Who is Ganimard in Lupin?
In the original stories by Maurice LeBlanc, Inspector Justin Ganimard was Arsène Lupin’s dogged nemesis, endlessly pursuing the master thief from caper to caper.
Though Ganimard and Lupin’s respective occupations put them at odds, Lupin does hold a grudging respect for his pursuer – though he doesn’t consider Ganimard to have an intellect comparable to his own, Arsène can’t help but admire the inspector’s tenacity and determination.
If you’re familiar with Netflix’s Lupin cast and this set-up sounds familiar, that’s because the character of police detective Youseff Guedira (Soufiane Guerrab) effectively fulfils the same role as Ganimard.
The link between Ganimard and Guedira is made explicit in Part Two. In the first episode, Guedira tags along as Assane pursues Leonard (Adama Niane), the villain who has kidnapped Assane’s son Raoul (Etan Simon). Guedira, like Assane, is a big fan of Maurice LeBlanc’s stories – in fact, it was his knowledge of the Lupin stories which allowed him to recognise the similarities in the crimes being committed by Assane, which eventually enabled Guedira to track down our hero at the close of Part 1.
When Leonard attempts to lure Assane into a trap using Raoul’s phone – texting Assane claiming to be his son – Assane catches on and sends ‘Raoul’ a message: “Let’s do like Lupin does with his daughter in Cagliostro.”
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Outing himself as a Lupin aficionado, Guedira catches the deliberate error which Assane had intended to fool Leonard – it is Lupin’s son, not his daughter, who features in 1924 novel La Comtesse de Cagliostro.
Later, when Assane clocks that Guedira is a police officer and not merely a bystander as he’d claimed, he makes the comparison between the detective and Leblanc’s character: “You are Ganimard.”
This becomes a running theme throughout Lupin Part Two, with Assane communicating with Guedira throughout and referring to him as “Ganimard” – something we suspect Guedira secretly enjoys, since he reveals in episode two of Part Two that Ganimard was his favourite character in the original stories.
Having rescued Raoul from Leonard’s clutches, he tells Assane’s son, “Ganimard [is my favourite] – he’s a cop like me.”