Just as Netflix is weeks away from launching in France, word has got out that the service also has plans to use Marseille as the backdrop for an upcoming original series.
Titled, fittingly enough, “Marseille” it will be a House of Cards-like story of political intrigue and dirty tricks.
It’s lead character Robert Taro, mayor for the past 25 years, is in the fight of his political life as he faces a young upstart candidate in local elections. Of course Tarot’s opponent is highly ambitious and had at one point been friendly with the long-time politician.
If you’ve seen anything of “House of Cards” you can imagine what comes next. The two men fight it out like gladiators in a milieu inhabited by shady operators, union leaders, politicians and elements of Marseille’s famous criminal underworld.
Established French directors will take part in the project, including Florent Emilio Siri, the man behind the film "My Way" about singer Claude Francois, who will direct the first two episodes.
"Netflix has given us a blank page to create a 'House of Cards' in French that breaks through unspoken hypocrisy," scriptwriter Dan Franck, the creator of the project, was quoted as saying.
Filming is expected to begin the spring of 2015 and comes as Netflix has promised to support the cinema industry in France. The Silicon Valley giant battled with French authorities about restrictions they wanted to impose on the service, which ended in Netlfix setting up in neighboring Luxembourg.
Netflix's European headquarters are currently in Luxembourg, which means it will not be subject to quotas on the number of Francophone films it screens, nor to rules over financing which affect national television channels and in-country video streaming services.
Some in the French industry also fear that the launch of the on-demand service will take subscribers from premium pay television channel Canal+, which is currently the principal financier of French-made films.
Bringing to a close much anticipation and online chatter, Netflix will roll out in France on September 15.