Netflix heist drama sequel Lupin Part 2 sees the return of Omar Sy in the role of Assane Diop, a modern-day gentlemen thief.
The returning French-language series is set in the present, but the show was in fact inspired by an iconic French literary character.
The show pays homage to the fictional thief Arsène Lupin, whose crimes inspire the modern-day drama's central character, Assane Diop (Sy in the Lupin cast).
At the beginning of the first season, Assane disguises himself as a Parisian janitor in order to orchestrate a huge heist as a means of avenging his father – taking his cues from Lupin.
Throughout Lupin Part One, we learnt that Assane's career and entire persona were inspired by his love of the Arsène Lupin books, one of which he was gifted as a child (check out our Lupin Part One recap for more).
Read on for everything you need to know about the inspiration behind Netflix series Lupin.
Who is Arsène Lupin?
Arsène Lupin is a fictional character originally created by French author Maurice Leblanc in 1905.
Lupin is a genius "gentleman thief" who often works for the greater good (despite breaking the law), and is a master of disguise and sleight of hand, among other skills.
In the original books he often appears in a top hat - similar to the one Assane Diop's teenage son dons in the Lupin trailer.
The character of British detective Sherlock Holmes frequently pops up (and gets outwitted) in the Lupin stories, although for legal reasons his name was changed to "Herlock Sholmes".
What Arsène Lupin books are there?
Maurice Leblanc penned an extensive list of stories featuring Arsène Lupin, which have since been published as both novels and collections of short stories. These include:
- Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief. You can purchase this book on Amazon now.
- The Exploits of Arsene Lupin, which you can buy on Amazon.
- Arsene Lupin Versus Herlock Sholmes, available on Amazon.
- The Hollow Needle: The Further Adventures of Arsène Lupin, available on Amazon
- 813, which you can buy on Amazon.
- Maurice Leblanc - The Confessions of Arsene Lupin, available on Amazon.
- Maurice Leblanc - Eight Strokes of the Clock. You can purchase on Amazon.
- The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar. You can buy this book on Amazon.
Which Arsène Lupin story is the Netflix series based on?
Netflix series Lupin Part One and Part Two don't adapt the Arsène Lupin books by Leblanc, but rather take inspiration from them.
The show follows Assane Diop, a disciple of Lupin who takes inspiration from Leblanc's character, settings, and stories for his own heists, becoming a kind of modern-day Lupin in the process.
Omar Sy told Variety that, while working with production company Gaumont Télévision (which now produces Lupin), he was asked whom he would most like to play. He answered "Lupin," whom he describes as the French equivalent of James Bond.
“My answer was Lupin,” he said. “If I was English I would say Jamezs Bond, but Lupin is the best character for that: he’s fun, funny, very elegant; there is action. Lupin is just the perfect character to cross [off] everything on the bucket list. You can do everything with that character. It is the perfect role.”