Nathalie Baye, Maiwenn Topline Gaumont’s Paris-Set Crime Series for Canal Plus (EXCLUSIVE)

PARIS – French stars Nathalie Baye and Maiwenn will play mother and daughter in “Nox” (working title), a crime thriller series set in Paris’ underworld that Mabrouk El Mechri will direct for pay-TV group Canal Plus.

Produced by Gaumont, “Nox” will star Baye as a retired cop who was forced out because of her rebellious personality and has to step back in when her daughter, also a cop, disappears in Paris’ vast underground tunnels. The series will explore these hollowed-out shelters spreading across miles beneath Paris where the investigation unfolds. Malik Zidi (“Made in France”) also stars.

“Nox” was created by Fred Cavayé (“Point Blank,””Radin”), Quoc Dang Tran (“Kaboul Kitchen”) and Jérôme Fansten (“Amnêsia”). Tran penned the series, whose filming will begin on July 10.

Fabrice de la Patelliere, head of drama at Canal Plus, told Variety that while this series can be described as a cop show, it’s different from the pay TV channel’s flagship crime dramas “Spiral” and “Braquo.”

“It tells the story of a woman who discovers her maternal instinct the day her daughter disappears. It’s a thriller set in Paris’s underbelly, in a sort of subterranean and ghostly city known to be dangerous,” explained De la Patelliere.

“Nox” will mark El Mechri’s second series for Canal Plus, following “Maison Close,” an edgy period series which aired for two seasons in 2010 and 2013 and earned warm reviews.

Baye, one of France’s best-known actresses, who starred in Xavier Dolan’s “It’s Only the End of the World” and Xavier Beauvois’s upcoming “Les Gardiennes,” previously toplined “Spin” (“Les Hommes de L’Ombre”), a hit on French pubcaster France 2 that traveled to many territories.

Maiwenn is best known as a director. She directed “Polisse” and “Mon Roi,” among other films. As an actress, Maiwenn takes very few roles and last starred in a TV series 15 years ago. She will next be seen in “The Price of Success” with Tahar Rahim and Roschdy Zem.

Fansten recently wrote and directed “Amnêsia,” a science fiction digital series produced by Vivendi’s Studio Plus that won the award for best web series at this year’s Colcoa, the Los Angeles-set French film festival.

Fansten picked up his Colcoa prize Thursday during a luncheon hosted by the Franco-American Cultural Fund at the SACEM (Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music) in Paris.

The luncheon was attended by Angelin Preljocaj and Valérie Müller-Preljocaj, the directors of “Polina,” winner of Colcoa’s American students award; Xavier de Lauzanne and Yves Darondeau, the director and producer of “Little Gems,” which won best documentary; Arnaud Sélignac and Fabrice Aboulker, the director and music composer of “Box 27,” which won best TV film; and Romane Gueret and Lise Akoka, the co-directors of “Chasse Royale,” the best short film winner.

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