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Legende plans TV series, touts films

Co., Canal Plus pact for historical 'Freedom'

After putting the spotlight on 20th-century French legend Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose,” producer Ilan Goldman is planning to recount a slice of Gallic history in a TV drama series about the French Resistance.

“Men of Freedom” is a 10-12 parter being developed by the TV arm of Goldman’s production shingle, Legende, with Gallic paybox Canal Plus.

Company’s first foray into TV fare, an adaptation of the hit movie franchise “Crimson Rivers,” is expected to arrive on Gallic TV screens probably early next year, airing on TF1. Gerard Depardieu will reprise Jean Reno’s role from the films.

It is Legende’s slate of movies, however, that will be the biggest attention grabber.

Company is producing Mathieu Kassovitz’s English-lingo Vin Diesel starrer “Babylon A.D.” and Jan Kounen’s “99 Francs,” starring hot Gallic thesp Jean Dujardin.

“Babylon AD,” starring Michele Yeoh, Melanie Thierry, Charlotte Rampling and Gerard Depardieu, will wrap in April and is slated for release around Thanksgiving.

Fox is distributing in the U.S. and the rest of the world, while French distributor Studio Canal will handle European territories.

“99 Francs,” which recently wrapped shooting, is based on a bestselling French novel. First-person diatribe against consumer society by a jaded ad exec turned unknown author Frederic Beigbeder into an overnight celebrity in Gaul.

Studio Canal, distributing in France and handling global sales, will probably be showing a promo reel of the film at the Cannes Film Market in May.

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