Early in Netflix’s All the Light We Cannot See, based on Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Daniel LeBlanc (Mark Ruffalo) unveils a three-dimensional replica of his Parisian neighborhood for his blind daughter, Marie-Laure (played as a child by Nell Sutton). “It’s an image right off the pages of the novel,” says director Shawn Levy, who helmed the five-episode series. “I remember imagining [it] so vividly years ago when I read the book.”

Levy — whose film credits include Free Guy and the upcoming Deadpool 3 — admits the World War II drama is unlike anything he’s done before. “I picked creative partners who understood this needed an aesthetic language,” he says, noting that DP Tobias A. Schliessler and production designer Simon Elliott brought “texture, art and atmosphere” to LeBlanc’s home. “In order to understand the trauma of Daniel and Marie fleeing Paris, we need to establish their world first,” Levy says. “This is a man of culture, who believes that every day should be a form of school — a constant enlightenment.” 

The hand-crafted model, through which Marie-Laure learns to navigate Paris, was originally set to be 3D-printed, but an early version lacked humanity and dimension. “[It] is an expression of Daniel’s love for his daughter,” Levy says. “It was made with just as much love and care as the model in the story itself.” 

This story first appeared in a December standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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