Netflix Tackles Politics in First French Original Series ‘Marseille’

Set in the French port city, the 8-episode story of “power, corruption and redemption” will debut in late 2015

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Netflix has had great success exploring American political intrigue with “House of Cards,” and now the streaming giant is setting its sights abroad with another series of political machinations, its first French Netflix original series, “Marseille.”

Set across eight episodes, the story follows the mayor of the port city of Marseille facing an unexpected opponent in the upcoming election after 25 years in office; the man he chose as his heir. “‘Marseille’ stages a fight around revenge, animated by drug lords, politicians, unions and the political players of the city,” Netflix said in describing the show.

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Created and written by Dan Franck, co-writer of the Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated miniseries “Carlos,” the series will be shot entirely in France.

“Creating a series for an enormous audience and without any constraints will let us push to its limits a story about the Shakespearean theater of politics in a city where Alexandre Dumas and Jean-Claude Izzo, among others, have planted many spears,” Franck said. “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.”

The series will feature French directors Florent-Emilio Siri, of Cesar-nominated films “Cloclo” and “L’Ennemi Intime” fame, and Sundance Award winner Samuel Benchetrit. He won for “J’ai toujours rêvé d’être un gangster” (“I Always Wanted to Be a Gangster”). “Marseille” is produced by Paris-based Federation Entertainment.

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“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,” said Florent-Emilio Siri.

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos added, “‘Marseille’ is an ambitious, diabolically smart fictitious exploration of local politics in one of the world’s most vibrant and fascinating cities. 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.”

“Marseille” is expected to begin production in spring of 2015, looking forward to a debut in late 2015 everywhere that Netflix is available.