First action hero
THE 'Asterix' comic book has been a favourite of generations of French children since it first appeared in 1959.
In that time, authors Rene Goscinny and, from 1977 onwards, Albert Uderzo have produced 34 books, which have sold more than 325 million copies in more than 100 languages.
They follow the adventures of the hero Asterix and his dull-witted sidekick Obelix as they resist the Roman occupation of Gaul (France) around 50BC.
Animated versions of the books first started appearing in 1967 and 11 films have been made. The first of three that star Gerard Depardieu -- 'Asterix and Obelix Take on Caesar' (1999) -- was at the time the most expensive production in French cinema, surpassed by the sequel, 'Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra' in 2002.
But not all of the films have been well received. 'Asterix at the Olympic Games', which cost a staggering €78m, received France's "Gerard du cinema" for the worst film made in 2007.