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CANAL+, Capa Drama, Zodiak and Incendo launch the production of VERSAILLES. Jalil Lespert to direct the first episodes of the 10x52' series


Versailles, 1667.
Louis XIV is 28 years old. To tame the nobility and win absolute power, he launches the construction of Versailles. A trap is set.

Capa Drama, Zodiak and Incendo are delighted to announce the production launch of VERSAILLES, the 10 x 52' series developed with CANAL+ Original Creation. This ambitious period drama is created by Simon Mirren (Without a Trace, Criminal Minds) and David Wolstencroft (Spooks, The Escape Artist).

VERSAILLES is a CANAL+, Capa Drama, Zodiak and Incendo co-production. Simon Mirren and David Wolstencroft will act as showrunners and write five episodes of the series, executive producing alongside Anne Thomopoulos (the executive producer of Rome, The Borgias and Camelot).

Jalil Lespert (Yves Saint-Laurent, Headwinds) will direct the first two episodes of the series. The production design will be handled by Katia Wyszkop (production designer of François Ozon's Potiche –Trophy Wife, Benoît Jacquot's Farewell, My Queen, Maurice Pialat's Van Gogh).

Capa Drama, Zodiak France and Incendo share the executive production. Filming of the series is set to debut in August 2014 in France with an international cast. Post-Production will take place in Canada, and more precisely the special effects.

International sales of the series (excluding Canada) are handled by Zodiak Rights, known for its successful international distribution of French drama series The Returned (Export Prize 2013, iEmmy Award 2013) and Capa Drama's Braquo (Export Prize 2012, iEmmy Award 2012). Zodiak Rights is currently in talks with several key international partners. Sales in Canada are handled by Incendo Media.

Fabrice de la Patellière, head of French Drama and Co-Productions, CANAL+: "We are delighted to launch, together with our partners, this ambitious series which is true to our Original Creation editorial strategy, in terms of international co-productions. Simon Mirren and David Wolstencroft's take on this landmark chapter in our history is a guarantee of originality and unique modernity for us all."

Simon Mirren and David Wolstencroft: "Louis XIV didn't just reinvent what it meant to be a King. In building Versailles he created the world's first global brand. This is a contemporary story of power, betrayal, and family that just so happens to be set in the 17th century."

Claude Chelli, Capa Drama: "It was a slightly crazy idea to produce an international drama series on Versailles. For the past four years, we've been working relentlessly with our partners Canal+ and Zodiak to bring the history of Versailles to life with a modern, innovative and provocative twist. And it is turning real today."

Philippe Alessandri, Zodiak France: "it is very satisfying to produce and distribute this project; bold in all its dimensions, a fresh take on the period drama genre. VERSAILLES marks Zodiak's premium international co-production ambitions. The positive feedback from the international market confirms this strategy."

VERSAILLES takes us on a dramatic journey into a unique time and place in history where the cults of celebrity and style were born, created by an absolute monarch with a compulsion to control the world.
The year is 1667. Louis is 28 years old and the sole commander of his kingdom following his mother's death. But Louis is burdened by insecurity brought on by ambitious government ministers and memories of his childhood trauma, a bitter coup attempt known as 'the Fronde'.
To win absolute power, he creates a trap at Versailles. Using the palace and its entertainments as bait, Louis ensnares and disempowers the nobles who threaten him. Amongst his targets is his younger brother, Monsieur: an openly gay warrior for whom Louis' hatred is matched only by his love.
The first season sees Louis evolve from a young King into an absolute Monarch, a 17th century rockstar with the mind of Machiavelli.
A calculating predator, Louis is determined to drag France out of the dark ages, and transform her into the supreme global power.

Revealing a world of betrayal, lust and political schemes, VERSAILLES takes the viewer behind the scenes of courtly pomp and ceremony. In this intriguing arena, the humble and wealthy find themselves sharing the same ambition: win the King's favour. And they would do anything for this brief moment in the Sun...