Lupin took the world by storm when it premiered on Netflix in January 2021, becoming the most-watched non-English series on the streaming platform. Part two of the French thriller is streaming now, which sees Assane Diop (played by Omar Sy) continue his fight to take down the Pellegrini family once and for all.
The series follows the story of professional thief Assane Diop whose father, Babakar Diop (Fargass Assandé) was framed for the theft of a Marie Antoinette necklace by his employer, French business tycoon Hubert Pellegrini (Hervé Pierre).
Sadly, Babakar Diop ended up taking his own life in his prison cell, leaving behind his 14-year-old son Assane Diop. Assane Diop, inspired by the book Arsène Lupin: Gentleman Burglar, which was left to him by his father, embarks on a warpath of revenge, using his charm and mastery of thievery in a bid to take down the Pellegrini empire.
Assane Diop styles himself after Arsène Lupin and one French detective, Youssef Guedira (Soufiane Guerrab) has already made the connection between Assane’s crimes and Lupin, setting up part two of the series.
Lupin on Netflix is not based on a true story. The title of the French mystery thriller is inspired by and named after the literary character, Arsène Lupin, a fictional gentleman thief and master of disguise.
Lupin was created by French author Maurice Leblanc in early 1905 and featured in 17 novels and 39 of his novellas. He was first introduced in a series of short stories, the first being The Arrest of Arsène Lupin which was published on July 15, 1905. The stories were compiled into a total of 24 books published between 1907 and 1941.
Seventy years later, Lupin’s story was not over. In 2011, the 25th book, The Last Love of Arsène Lupin was released posthumously after it was discovered by a relative of Leblanc.
There are explicit references made to the literary figure throughout the Netflix series. For example, Assane Diop’s pseudonym’s are anagrams of Lupin’s names and the methods of his heists mirror Lupins almost exactly.
In the final episode of part one, Assane Diop even takes his son to a seaside Lupin festival to celebrate the thief. The festival itself was set in Étretat, the hometown of Arsène Lupin author, Maurice Leblanc.
The plot of part one is taken directly from Leblanc’s 1907 novel, Arsène Lupin: Gentleman Burglar which includes stories about a necklace that belonged to Marie Antoinette and an incredible prison escape.
Speaking to Variety about the link to the original Lupin, co-writer George Kay explained: “There’s this French establishment story [within] it, so you see in the first episode that Babakar takes the Arsène Lupin book off a quite traditional bookcase in a quite traditional house.
“He could have picked The Count of Monte Cristo, he could have picked a lot of other French books, [but] that’s the one he chose for his son at that moment and it becomes a guidebook for an attitude for life.”
Lupin Part 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix now.