Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) is a French historical action horror film directed by Christophe Gans and co-written by Gans and Stéphane Cabel. The film has several extended swashbuckling fight scenes, with martial arts performances by cast members mixed in. This is unusual for a historical drama. The film stars Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Émilie Dequenne, Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel.
The story takes place in 18th-century France, where the Chevalier de Fronsac and Mani of the Iroquois tribe are sent to investigate the mysterious slaughter of hundreds by an unknown creature in the province of Gévaudan.
The plot is loosely based on a real-life series of killings that took place in France in the 18th century and the famous legend of the beast of Gévaudan. Parts of the film were shot at Château de Roquetaillade. The special effects for the creature are a combination of computer generated imagery, as well as puppetry and animatronics designed by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.
The film received generally positive critical reviews, highlighting its high production values, cinematography, performances and Gans’ atmospheric direction. At a $29 million budget, it was an international box office success, grossing over $70 million in worldwide theatrical release. The film also enjoyed commercial success in the United States; Universal Pictures paid $2 million to acquire the film’s North American distribution rights and went on to gross $11.3 million in limited theatrical release, making it the second-highest-grossing French-language film in the United States since 1980. The film also did well on video and DVD sales in the United States.
The Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) takes place in a rural province of France, where a mysterious creature is laying waste to the countryside, savagely killing scores of women and children. Unseen, possessed of enormous strength and a human intelligence, the beast has eluded capture for years. King Louis sends in a renowned scientist and his Iroquois blood brother, an unconventional team whose combined methods and capabilities may bring the beast down. But the true nature of the beast is not what anyone could have anticipated.