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Netflix’s ‘Marseille’ Sets Gerard Depardieu for Lead

Netflix announced Friday that Gerard Depardieu will play the lead in “Marseille,” Netflix’s first — and much anticipated — French-language original series.

The official news comes after Variety and other media reported the thesp was in talks for the role.

With Netflix billing “Marseille” as a tale of power, corruption and redemption, Depardieu’s role as the city’s political supremo has perhaps inevitably been likened to Kevin Spacey’s Francis Underwood in “House of Cards,” though others compare “Marseille” to Starz’s “Boss.”

With a similar can-of-worms-opening political slant to “House of Cards,” “Marseille” centers on Robert Taro, to be played by Depardieu, mayor of the Southern French city for 25 years. The upcoming elections have him face the man he chose as his successor, an ambitious young politician. The contender, who will be played by Benoit Magimel (“The Pianist”), is as ruthless as Taro in the battle for power. A power-battle and revenge tale, “Marseilles” also features the city’s drug lords, politicians, unions and political players.

Cast of “Maseille” also will include Géraldine Pailhas (“Young and Beautiful,” “The Adversary”), Nadia Farès (“The Crimson Rivers,” “Storm Warning”), Pascal Elso and Gérard Meylan.

The eight-episode series is created and written by “Carlos” screenwriter Dan Franck. It is produced and sold in international markets by Federation Entertainment, headed by Pascal Breton, producer of milestone French series including “Dolmen.”

As previously reported, the first two episodes of “Marseille” will be directed by Florent-Emilio Siri, director of the Cesar-nominated theatrical hits “My Way” (Cloclo) and “L’Ennemi intime.” Xavier Gens (“Hitman”) and Cedric Anger (“Next Time I’ll Aim for the Heart”) are now also slated to helm segs.

All eight episodes of “Marseille” will premiere in all Netflix territories in 2016, the SVOD giant said Friday.

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