PAPILLON Remake: The iconic butterfly tattoo

Posted on by Stella Robins



35 years after the first film adaptation of this cult autobiographical novel by Henri Charrière, Charlie Hunnam (originally played by Steve McQueen) recreates the legendary prison break. The film follows the epic struggle of Henri « Papillon » Charrière and his escape attempts from notorious and cruel french high-security prison on Devil’s Island where he’s being incarcerated unjustly for murder. In his endless efforts to regain his freedom Henri makes an unusual alliance with Louis Dega originally played by Dustin Hoffman, and now in this remake played by the marvelously talented Rami Malek. This is the incredible story of friendship, hardship and unbelievable cruelty and the determination to be free. One of the ultimate adventure stories.

 

Along with the make-up designer Kirstin Chalmers we are proud that our tattoos played such an enormous role in this film to create a look and give an authenticity of the gangland criminals of the time and of course to recreate the iconic « Papillon » butterfly tattoo.

 

A lot of Kristin’s inspiration came from the fascinating book Mauvais Garçon: Portaits de tatoués. This incredibly exciting book contains wonderful photographs from 1890 to 1930. As well as the photographs, this book decodes meanings of the tattoos, frozen in time on the bodies of the prisoners, convicts and individuals of the french underworld at the time.

               Photos from the book Mauvais Garçons: Portaits de tatoués 

 

For us at TattooedNow! We had to produce very large numbers of realistic temporary tattoos, not just for the main stars, but also to apply to more than 200 extras for the large scenes both inside and outside of the prison. Another great job done !

 

 

             Charlie Hunnam and Michael Socha as prisoners on Devil’s Island

                         Charlie Hunnam as Henri « Papillon » Charrière

                   Rami Malek as Louis Dega next to Charlie Hunnam