Various outlets are reporting on the upcoming production of The Apaches, a major 8-10 episode TV series from Andre and Maria Jacquemettons, the writer/producer team behind Mad Men.
Set in Paris during the Belle Epoque period at the turn of the 20th century, the planned series will be produced in France but shot in English. It is described as cross between Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge.
Although the history of the infamous Parisian street gangs is relatively little-known outside of France today, the early 20th century “Apache chic” craze spread their fashion, dance and slang to a worldwide audience via tabloid journalism and numerous works of lurid fiction.
Comparable to the Scuttlers, Peaky Blinders and Hooligan gangs of England and the Larrikins of Australia and New Zealand, the Apaches were notorious street fighters. Almost uniquely, however, the French gangsters also evolved a variety of specialised weapons and mugging techniques that contributed to their media mystique. Counters to these tricks were featured in numerous French self-defence books and articles during the early 20th century, especially after the introduction of jiujitsu to Paris in 1905.