Netflix reportedly is courting Gerard Depardieu to play a French version of the conniving U.S. president played by Kevin Spacey in House Of Cards, according to Radio Europe1. Marseille would mark Netflix’s first French-language production.
Marseille would be produced in France by the French, Europe1 said. The idea has not been popular in France, with French filmmakers fretting that Netflix’s incursion on their home turf could hurt the industry as well as dilute the quality of its output.
While not quite a copy of House Of Cards, Marseille similarly focuses on venal politicians as the longtime mayor of the Southern French city, Robert Taro, finds himself facing his ambitious younger protege in an election. The eight-episode series is created and written by Carlos screenwriter Dan Franck and produced and repped in international markets by Pascal Breton’s Federation Entertainment, the Independent reported.
Initial two episodes will be directed by Florent-Emilio Siri, director of Cesar-nominated theatrical hits My Way (Cloclo) and L’Ennemi intime. Samuel Benchetrit (J’ai toujours rêvé d’être un gangster) will also reportedly be directing episodes.
Netflix’s European operations chief said Sunday that speculation over Depardieu’s role was a “pure rumour mill.” Even so, Depardieu remains popular in France despite obtaining Russian citizenship in protest of his homeland’s high income taxes on the well-to-do. He was back in Cannes this year in Guillaume Nicloux’s competition title Valley of Love. Having him aboard Marseille might make the Netflix project more palatable to the French.