Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar (French: Astérix & Obélix contre César, Asterix & Obelix vs. Caesar in some regions) is a Franco-Italo-German cult film, directed by Claude Zidi, and released in 1999. At the time of its release it was the most expensive production in French cinema of all time, making it the most expensive production in France for the 20th Century. It was surpassed by the sequel, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, in 2002.
The film combines elements of the plots of several mostly early Asterix stories, most from Asterix the Gaul (Getafix's abduction), Asterix and the Soothsayer, Asterix and the Goths (the Druid conference), Asterix the Legionary (Obelix becoming smitten with Panacea) and Asterix the Gladiator (the characters fighting in the circus). Jokes and references from many other albums abound, including a humorous exchange between Julius Caesar and Brutus taken from Asterix and Cleopatra.
Julius Caesar is celebrating his victory over all of Gaul, but Lucius Detritus has kept from him the setback that one small village is holding out against the invaders. Detritus travels to the garrison near the village where Crismus Bonus, the garrison's commanding Centurion, explains that the Gauls have a magic potion brewed for them by their Druid which makes them invincible. Detritus decides he must capture the potion for himself, and hearing that the clever Asterix and permanently invincible Obelix are the backbone of the Gaulish forces, attempts to eliminate them, though his first attempt fails.
A false soothsayer arrives at the village and predicts the arrival of Romans and treasure; despite Asterix's protestations, the village is taken in and when a Roman tax collector arrives, they drive off his forces and take the gold. The "soothsayer" later drugs and hypnotises Asterix to create a diversion while he makes off with the tax money, but news of the theft reaches Caesar, who comes to the garrison himself, demanding the legion attack. He witnesses the defeat of his army and is taunted by Asterix and Obelix; he demands Detritus subdue the village or be fed to the lions.
Detritus disguises himself and some men as Druids and kidnaps Panoramix (Getafix) as he is attending a Druid conference. Asterix disguises Obelix as a legionnaire, and they enter the garrison to rescue the Druid, but are separated. Asterix joins Getafix in the dungeon, and the pair resist Detritus' demands to make the magic potion until he tortures Idefix (Dogmatix). Detritus uses the potion to throw Caesar into a cell (locked in an iron mask), and takes command with an oblivious Obelix as his bodyguard. Eventually Obelix helps Asterix, Getafix and Dogmatix escape, and they also bring the prisoner in the mask.
Caesar makes a deal with the Gauls to help him defeat Detritus, who mounts an all-out attack on the villagers using his own magic potion. To defeat him, Panoramix brews a special version of the potion using a rare ingredient which creates dozens of duplicates of Asterix and Obelix. Caesar is returned to power, and he grants the village its freedom.
- Christian Clavier - Astérix
- Gérard Depardieu - Obélix
- Roberto Benigni - Lucius Detritus (Tortuous Convolvulus / Tullius Destructivus)
- Michel Galabru - Abraracourcix (named "Vitalstatistix" in English)
- Claude Piéplu - Panoramix (Getafix)
- Daniel Prévost - Prolix
- Pierre Palmade - Assurancetourix (Cacofonix)
- Laetitia Casta - Falbala (Panacea)
- Arielle Dombasle - Mme Agecanonix (Mrs Geriatrix)
- Sim - Agecanonix (Geriatrix)
- Marianne Sägebrecht - Bonnemine (Impedimenta)
- Gottfried John - Jules César / Julius Caesar
- Jean-Pierre Castaldi - Caius Bonus
- Jean-Roger Milo - Cetautomatix (Fulliautomatix)
- Jean-Jacques Devaux - Ordralfabetix (Unhygenix)
- Hardy Krüger Jr. - Tragicomix
- Asterix - Olaf Wyjnants
- Obelix - Terry Jones
- Detritus - John Duval
- Vitalstatistix - Douglas Blackwell
- Getafix - John Baddeley
- Prolix - Harry Barrowclough
- Caesar - Peter Marinker
- Crismus Bonus - Rodney Beddall