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Canal+ returns to Versailles

MIPCOM: French paynet Canal+ has renewed lavish Louis XIV English-language drama Versailles for a second season before the first has aired.

S2 of Versailles begins four years after the first ends

S2 of Versailles begins four years after the first ends

The broadcaster has given the green light to another 10×52’ instalment from coproducers Capa Drama, Zodiak Fiction and Incendo.

David Wolstencroft (MI-5, The Escape Artist) and Simon Mirren (Without a Trace, Criminal Minds) remain showrunners. The writers are Andrew Bampfield (D-Day 6.6.1944), Audrey Fouché (The Returned), Jamie Brittain (Skins) and Tim Loane (Teachers).

The first season of Versailles begins in the year 1667 with the young Louis XIV on the cusp of greatness with his vision for the court of Versailles.

It will debut next month on Canal+ in France, Super Channel and Bell Media in Canada, and Movistar in Spain, while BBC2 has also picked up UK rights for early 2016.

The second season – another Canal+ ‘Création Originale’ – will catch up with the Sun King four years on, now “an emancipated sovereign with a wily understanding of the workings of power.” Filming is scheduled to start early next year.

Canal+’s head of French drama and coproductions Fabrice de la Patellière said the second season of Versailles would be a “full-blown immersion into the absolute power of Louis XIV.”

He described it as representing “the next step” in Canal+ international copro strategy, which here in Cannes has seen the premiere of Sky Atlantic collaboration The Last Panthers, from Haut et Court and the UK’s Warp Films.

For Zodiak, whose distribution arm holds worldwide rights except Canada (where Incendo handles sales), the recommission is a major boost as the company’s merger with compatriot Banijay moves forward.

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