This Monday, November 14, TF1 broadcasts at 9:10 p.m. Tous Inconnus, a fiction inspired by the most cult sketches of the trio formed by Didier Bourdon, Bernard Campan and Pascal Légitimus. A long-awaited return for fans of the three actors who have not been reunited on screen since the film Les Trois Frères: le retour in 2014. If the Inconnus have become a popular comic group in France, they partly owe their success to their former manager Paul Lederman. Known for having managed the careers of Claude François and Coluche, the latter took Les Inconnus under his wing in 1986. “Lederman helped us considerably at a time when we had trouble finding our space and when even TF1 refused our models” , acknowledged Didier Bourdon in an interview with Liberation.

However, Paul Lederman could also have ended the Unknowns. In a report from the 100% Mag program devoted to the comic trio broadcast on M6, we learn that the three accomplices and their manager had been in conflict since the release of the film Les Trois Frères in 1995.

With Liberation, Didier Bourdon has decided to speak publicly about the legal situation which prevents the reformation of the trio. He explains that it is because of a contract that binds the three actors, Paul Lederman, and Claude Berri, producer of the film Les Trois Frères. “There was also a commitment for two options on that contract. That is, we would give the producer and Lederman priority over two other potential film projects. These kinds of options are standard practice. They serve mostly to protect the interests of the producer: he takes risks on a first film and, in the event of flop, he has the hope of bailing out on the following ones”, confided the actor. But The Three Brothers had a huge success in the cinema. “So we thought those options would never be realized, as is very often the case in this business,” he said.

Subsequently, Didier Bourdon and Bernard Campan decided to shoot Le Pari (1997) and L’Extraterrestre (2000), without their friend Pascal Légitimus. Paul Lederman then took legal action against the actors, claiming that they breached the terms of the contract. Justice finally ruled in favor of the actors, considering that only two of the three Unknowns participated in these feature films. They were therefore not in breach of their contractual commitment. However, the manager still held the rights to the name “Les Inconnus”, which forbade them from performing as a threesome without his approval. In 2001, the Inconnus managed to settle their dispute with their former manager, facilitating the reformation of the trio on the big screen with the film Les Rois Mages.

Invited to the antenna of Europe 1 in 2012, Paul Lederman confided that he regretted having met the Unknowns. If the manager does not question the talent of the Unknowns, he nevertheless denounces their attitudes, explaining that “there are people who are geniuses but who are humanly shit”.