Twenty-six years after the original movie debuted for audiences, Irma Vep has become a TV series. The 1996 movie from Olivier Assayas is getting a TV adaptation and 21st century refresh with an eight-episode limited series that is set to play on HBO/HBO Max in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK.
The original Irma Vep is well regarded (a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) and an 80 on Metacritic (opens in new tab)) and is considered among Assayas best movies. How will the TV adaptation play out? Here is everything that we know about the Irma Vep TV series.
When is the next Irma Vep episode?
Irma Vep continues with a brand new episode, the fourth episode of the limited series, airing on Monday, June 27, at 9 pm ET/PT on HBO and being available to stream simultaneously on HBO Max. Irma Vep episode 4 is titled "The Poisoner."
UK audiences are going to get Irma Vep on Sky Atlantic (streaming on NOW TV), though we’re still waiting on an exact release date.
What is the Irma Vep plot?
Here is the official plot of Irma Vep, per HBO:
"Mira is an American movie star disillusioned by her career and a recent breakup, who comes to France to star as 'Irma Vep' in a remake of the French silent film classic, Les Vampires. Set against the backdrop of a lurid crime thriller, Mira struggles as the distinctions between herself and the character she plays begin to blur and merge. Irma Vep reveals to us the uncertain ground that lies at the border of fiction and reality, artifice and authenticity, art and life."
Right away there is a difference between this new TV adaptation and the original movie, as the main character is an American actress, while the 1996 movie centered around a Hong Kong actress (Maggie Cheung). Otherwise, the general plot seems in line with the original movie.
Irma Vep episodes
Here is the synopsis for Irma Vep's first episode:
Irma Vep episode 1, "The Severed Head"
"When disillusioned A-list Hollywood actress Mira Harberg arrives in Paris to immerse herself in the coveted role of iconic villainous Irma Vep in a remake of Feuillade's The Vampires, an encounter with her former lover Laurie reignites dormant passions. Meanwhile, the project's acclaimed director Rene Vidal struggles as production woes threaten to derail his vision."
Irma Vep episode 2, "The Ring That Kills"
"Zoe attempts to connect with Mira. While production deals with an actor's unusual request, Edmond and Rene clash."
Irma Vep episode 3, "Dead Man's Escape"
"While Mira revisits her past, René unpacks his relationship with his ex-wife who once also portrayed Irma Vep."
Irma Vep episode 4, "The Poisoner"
"Mira courts offers from the productions financier and her agent while becoming immersed in her role. René experiences a vision and a crisis."
Is there an Irma Vep trailer?
Trailers for Irma Vep are here. The unique look of the story, including Paris as a backdrop and the iconic black bodysuit that Vikander’s character wears, grab the eye, while brief glimpses of other characters and scenarios provide a proper tease without giving what’s in store. Check out all of the Irma Vep trailers right here.
Who is in the Irma Vep cast?
Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander stars as Mira, the movie star who decides to take on the role of Irma Vep. Vikander broke out in the early half of the 2010s with roles in Testament of Youth and Ex Machina, before going on to win her Oscar her Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl (a worthy win, even if she should have been up for lead actress). She’s not unfamiliar with her character’s blockbuster past, having starred in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Jason Bourne and Tomb Raider in her career. Her most recent credits include The Glorias, Blue Bayou and The Green Knight.
Here is the rest of the Irma Vep cast and who they are playing:
- Vincent Macaigne as René Vidal
- Jeanne Balibar as Zoe
- Devon Ross as Regina
- Lars Eidinger as Gottfried
- Vincent Lacoste as Edmond Lagrange
- Nora Hamzawi as Carla
- Adria Arjona as Laurie
- Carrie Brownstein as Zelda
- Tom Sturridge as Eamonn
- Byron Bowers as Herman
- Fala Chen as Cynthina Keng
- Hippolyte Girardot as Robert Danjou
- Alex Descas as Gregory Desormeaux
- Antoine Reinartz as Jeremie
Irma Vep director Olivier Assayas
Olivier Assayas is directing all eight episodes of the Irma Vep TV series, bringing one of his most celebrated movies to the format. The French director has been around since the 1980s and has become one of the most respected international voices in movies. In addition to Irma Vep, some of his movies include Summer Hours, Demonlover, Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper.
He is no stranger to TV, with his mini-series Carlos earning two Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Director for a Mini-Series, Movie or Dramatic Special.
How to watch Irma Vep
US viewers looking to watch Irma Vep need to be subscribed to the HBO cable network, which is available as a premium channel on traditional pay-TV subscriptions, or the HBO Max streaming service, which can be accessed as a standalone service or as an add-on to live TV streaming services like YouTube TV and Hulu.
UK viewers will be getting Irma Vep on their traditional TVs through Sky Atlantic, available through Sky TV, and then have it available to stream on NOW TV.
Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.
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