Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp Television will co-produce Gwyneth Paltrow starrer “Marlene,” a miniseries based on “Marlene Diet-rich,” a memoir written by the star’s daughter, Maria Riva.
Produced by BBC and HBO, the two 90-minute episodes are penned by Andrew Davies, whose writing credits include “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and, more recently, Paul W.S. Anderson’s “The Three Musketeers.”
The TV biopic will chart Dietrich’s rise from her breakthrough appearance in Josef von Sternberg’s “The Blue Angel” in Germany in 1930 to her life in Hollywood during the 1950s, when she played opposite icons including Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Gary Grant.
Riva’s memoir was optioned by DreamWorks in 2004 for a bigscreen adaptation by Jess Money. Paltrow was attached to star and co-produce with Money and David Nicksay.
“Marlene” is one of many TV productions on the Gallic mini-major’s slate. Since buying Paris-based TV producer Cipango last April, EuropaCorp Television has greenlit a raft of productions, notably “Le vol des cigognes” (“Flight of the Storks”), a two-part thriller helmed by Jan Kounen (“Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky”) and penned by Denis McGrath (“XIII: The Series”).
The €10 million ($14 million) English-lingo mini is based on Jean-Christophe Grange’s crime novel. “Flight of the Storks” was pre-bought by Gallic paybox Canal Plus.