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Alexandre Aja Directing Romantic Drama ‘The Marquis’

Alexandre Aja (“Horns”) will direct the romantic drama “The Marquis,” a 17th-century-set movie based on the true story of the Marquis de Montespan.

Gaumont is producing with Paris-based LGM Cinema. “The Marquis” will shoot in English with a budget in the $25 million range. Filming will begin in Europe in the last quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2017.

The film, inspired by Jean Teulé’s bestselling novel “Le Montespan” and scripted by Aja, will depict the doomed and passionate relationship between the Marquis Louis Henri de Montespan and his wife Athénaïs — a beautiful and ambitious woman who became the mistress of Louis XIV.

The Marquis, who was passionately in love with his wife, refused all privileges and vowed to get his wife back at all costs, even if it meant defying the authority of the Sun King and facing imprisonment and death threats. He was one of the first historical figures to challenge the absolute monarch.

Aja’s credits include genre films “The Hills Have Eyes” and “Piranha 3D.” He said “The Marquis” will weave in contemporary themes present in his past films in a more powerful way.

“This is the story of an extremely passionate couple, who, for nearly 30 years sought to free themselves from the muck of this hypocritical society they lived in,” he said. “She, through her blind ambition to become the true queen of France and he, never ceasing to display his love for her, defying everyone, even the Sun King himself. With relentless dark humor and tempestuous sensuality, Montespan tells the tragic love story about a man, his wife and the king that came between then.”

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