Amazon has unveiled a new slate of French originals including a local version of hit British format Love Island, a period drama from Borgia writer Marie Roussin and a spy drama from Narcos and Hannibal producer Gaumont.
The SVOD service is making a French version of ITV Studios entertainment series Love Island, which airs on CBS in the U.S., and has commissioned eight-part series Voltaire, Mixte and Operations Totems as well as a new adventure reality competition.
The shows were announced at a showcase held in Paris this morning.
Voltaire, Mixte takes place in an all-male high school when women are allowed in for the first time. Set in 1960s France, the series will look at the relationships and “hormonal fireworks” of the time. It will cover topics such as love, emancipation, sexuality and self-acceptance.
Roussin is showrunner and the series is produced by Hotel de la Plage producer En Voiture Simone and Autopilot Entertainment, the LA-based production company set up by Eleonore Dailly and Edouard de Lachomette, responsible for Netflix’s first French-language feature film I Am Not An Easy Man.
The series is currently in pre-production and will launch in 2021.
Meanwhile, Operations Totems is a love story between two enemy spies. From East Berlin to Paris, from Northern Africa to the USSR, the action thriller is set in 1964 in the midst of the Cold War. It follows Francis Morizet, secret agent, struggling to carry his legend of a father’s mantle as he heads into the field for the first time and stumbles upon Lyudmila, newly KGB. In the middle of continuous illegal intelligence operations between the SDECE and the CIA, they will struggle for their countries and against the love they feel for each other.
The series is co-written by Juliette Soubrier (Zone Blanche), and co-created by Olivier Dujols (Falco) who also serves as showrunner. It is produced by Gaumont and starts filming in 2020 for a 2021 TX.
Separately, it has also ordered an adventure reality series, The Missing One. The series, which is produced by WeMake and co-created by Borderline Media, is set in Australia and sees four teams of celebrities and their relatives taking part in a series of challenges. One member of each trio has secretly agreed to disappear from the very beginning and join the same hidden location: The Headquarters. The teams on the road are then on a mission to find their Missing One. The first team to find their Missing One will win a grand prize up to €200,000, which they will give to the charity of their choice.
“We know that viewers in France want to see unique, authentic and entertaining stories that they truly connect with, and we’re committed to producing the widest variety of quality French programming exclusively for Prime members that delivers against that,” said Georgia Brown, Director of European Amazon Original series for Prime Video. “Featuring drama, spy action, reality, adventure, music and social revolution, there isn’t a genre or topic we aren’t considering right now and we’re so excited to announce these four new French Amazon Original productions designed to appeal to our French Prime Video viewers.”
“Voltaire, Mixte is a school-based drama like you’ve never seen before. We’re very excited to be working with the extremely talented Marie Roussin on a series that will deal with the societal and sexual revolution of 1960s France. It is mischievous, bold and deeply rooted in highly charged, compelling characters,” Brown added. “Operations Totems is an epic, action-packed thriller and a unique take on the spy genre. At the heart of this series is a love story, but along the way our characters are caught up in manipulation and lies.”