Great news, Euro TV fans! Netflix is continuing to expand its program productions, this time with its first French drama, Marseille.
The first Netflix Originals production in French, Marseille is “a tale of power, corruption and redemption” set against the rich backdrop of the port city that, after Paris, is France’s second-largest city.
“Marseille is an ambitious, diabolically smart fictitious exploration of local politics in one of the world’s most vibrant and fascinating cities,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “We are delighted to be working with some of the best storytellers in France to deliver a series that erases the line between film and television.”
Shot entirely in France, Marseille centers on Robert Taro, the mayor of Marseille for 25 years. The elections are coming up, and he will face the man he chose as his heir, an ambitious young upstart with high aims for his career. Both candidates will fight mercilessly — a fight around revenge and animated by drug lords, unions, politicos, and other political players of the city.
Marseille is created and written by Dan Franck, who scripted La Séparation and Les Hommes de l’Ombre and cowrote Carlos, the 2011 Golden Globes winner for Best Miniseries. Said Franck about Marseille: “Netflix has given us a blank page to create a ‘House of Cards’ in French that breaks through unspoken hypocrisy. This is a writer’s dream and a great opportunity for French producers and creators to enter a new world.”
Florent-Emilio Siri, director of the César-nominated theatrical hits Cloclo and L’Ennemi Intime, will direct the first two episodes of Marseille. Also directing will be Sundance Award-winning filmmaker Samuel Benchetrit (J’ai Toujours Rêvé d’Étre un Gangster).
According to Siri, “Movies today sacrifice a lot to almighty pacing and often lose the essential: the characters. Current TV series do exactly the opposite, they stretch time and work characters in depth with all their complexities and contradictions. That’s what makes for their success… TV series give movie directors the potential of a new opportunity to be able to explore and express their talents within the full extent of their art. This is why I’m really eager to work on Marseille.”
Added Benchetrit, “I’m incredibly excited and honored to work on Marseille and to create an original series that will be powerful and unique. Working with Netflix is a great opportunity for artists and creators, it democratizes movies and series in France and globally.”
The eight-episode Marseille is produced by the Paris-based Federation Entertainment, led by Pascal Breton, producer of the hit French series Dolmen and Sous le Soleil, who stated: “Marseille will take the audience right into the political arena where the old regime of traditional politicians are getting ready to face the younger generation of predators, thugs, and sometimes their own heirs. Netflix is giving us the perfect opportunity to tell this story from a uniquely French viewpoint, in association with some of France’s best writers and directors. Produced entirely in France, Marseille has the potential to become one of the most gripping television events of the coming years.”
Production on Marseille is expected to begin in the spring of 2015, with the series’ exclusive debut on Netflix in all of the SVOD service’s territories anticipated for late 2015.