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Netflix orders first French original

US streaming giant Netflix is expanding its international footprint with an order for its first original series from France.

Marseilles, a political drama, has received an eight-episode straight-to-series order and will debut exclusively in all Netflix territories in late 2015.

The series – shot entirely in France – focuses on the story of Robert Taro, mayor of the French port city for 25 years, who in the coming elections will face the young man he chose as his heir, an ambitious youngster aiming high.

It marks the first time the Californian streamer has commissioned a French prodco to make an original series, as the firm looks to expand into six European territories, including France, next month.

“Netflix has given us a blank page to create a House of Cards in French that breaks through unspoken hypocrisy,” said the show’s creator David Franck (La Separation, Carlos).

“This is a writer’s dream and a great opportunity for French producers and creators to enter a new world.”

Marseille is produced by Paris-based Federation Entertainment, led by Pascal Breton (Dolmen, Sous le Soleil). Both Florent-Emilio Siri (Cloclo) and Samuel Benchetrit will direct the project.

In May, Netflix greenlit its first original series in the UK, a £100m (US$170m) drama titled The Crown, to be produced by Sony Pictures Television-owned Left Bank Pictures.

Production on Marseilles is expected to start in spring of 2015.


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