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The first step towards the ideal Gance had about "people going to the movies as they go to Mass", was to be J’accuse (I Accuse), part one of a projected trilogy inspired by Woodrow Wilson’s plan for a League of Nations, of which the other parts would be Les Cicatrices (The Scars) and La Société des Nations. Almost at once, though, this was set aside for a more ambitious plan: an apocalyptic trilogy centered around the figure of a Christlike philosopher named Jean Novalic. Gance had gained the support and financial backing of the doyen of French producers, Charles Pathé, through whose company Film d’Art released, and
in April 1918 began shooting Ecce Homo, first of the Novalic trilogy. Dissatisfied with the results, he abandoned filming after a few days, and with Pathé’s agreement started work instead on