×

‘The Artist’s’ Berenice Bejo to Star in ‘Josephine and Napoleon’ Series (EXCLUSIVE)

Oscar-nominated actress Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”) is set to headline “Josephine and Napoleon,” an English-language period drama series created by British showrunner Tony Saint (“Das Boot”).

Now in development, the eight-part series is being produced by the well-established British company Ecosse Films (“Hampstead,” “Mistresses”) and Pascal Breton’s Paris-based Federation Entertainment (“The Bureau,” “Marseille”) for the network France Televisions, which is also co-producing.

The show is based Andrew Roberts’ “Napoleon: A Life” and Kate Williams’ “The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte.” It will be directed by a French and English filmmaker duo who will be announced at a later stage, along with a French writer who will be working with Saint.

Bejo, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” and won best actress at Cannes for Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past,” will play Josephine, Napoleon Bonaparte’s first wife, lover, and muse.

Josephine de Beauharnais, a mischievous aristocrat born in the French West Indies, was 35 when she met Bonaparte, a quick-tempered and ambitious 25-year-old general from Corsica, during the French Revolution. Together they became a powerful couple.

“Josephine and Napoleon” will explore how these “two colonial outsiders from the French islands achieved the most audacious and extraordinary ascent to power in human history,” the production companies said in a statement, adding that the series will showcase a “rich cast of Machiavellian fixers, déclassé aristocrats, and scheming lovers thrown into the mix.”

Takis Candilis, managing director of content at France Télévisions, said “Josephine and Napoleon” was a rare project that “reveals historical figures with such accuracy and wit,” as well as a “modern approach.”

Candilis added that “Josephine was a free, strong and influential woman, remarkable in her day, incredibly relevant for our time.”

“Bringing these remarkable characters to life has already been a joy, but I am absolutely delighted that Berenice Bejo is joining the project. She will be an unforgettable Josephine,” said Saint, who is also executive producing the show. His credits include “Das Boot,” “Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley,” and “Strike Back.”

Douglas Rae at Ecosse Films said “Josephine’s role in Napoleon’s destiny will surprise and thrill audiences across the world.” Rae is producing the series with Kate Triggs and Robert Bernstein at Ecosse Films, and Breton and Lionel Uzan at Federation Entertainment.

Breton said Federation Entertainment looked forward to working with France Televisions and Ecosse Films to “serialize two of France’s greatest historical figures: Josephine and Napoleon.” He added that having “Berenice Bejo to embody Joséphine makes the project even more exciting.”

The show is scheduled to start shooting at the end of next summer in France.

More TV

  • The Good Fight Season 4 christine

    TV News Roundup: CBS All Access 'The Good Fight' Season 4 Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV News Roundup, CBS All Access unveiled a trailer for Season 4 of “The Good Fight,” and Quibi released trailers for two more upcoming programs.  FIRST LOOKS CBS All Access has debuted the official trailer for Season 4 of “The Good Fight.” The series picks up with the law firm Reddick, Boseman & [...]

  • Chris Benoit Dark Side of the

    'Dark Side of the Ring' Season 2 Premiere Sets Vice Ratings Record

    The Season 2 premiere of “Dark Side of the Ring” not only brought in the show’s best ratings last week, but the best ratings ever for a Vice TV original telecast. According to Nielse data, “Dark Side of the Ring” brought in 1.2 million viewers across three telecasts on March 24. That is up 119% [...]

  • Westworld

    'Westworld' Star Evan Rachel Wood on the 'Digital War' at the Heart of Season 3

    Netflix, but everywhere, and evil: That’s the chilling idea at the center of the third season of “Westworld.” As star Evan Rachel Wood explained during a live interview on the “Variety After-Show” — streamed via Variety‘s Instagram account after the third episode of “Westworld” aired on HBO — her sentient robot character Dolores now knows what [...]

  • 'The Bachelor Summer Games' Shelved at

    'The Bachelor Summer Games' Shelved at ABC Due to Coronavirus

    ABC has made the decision to shelve its planned “The Bachelor Summer Games” spinoff, Variety has confirmed, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the entertainment industry. The prospective series, which had yet to be officially announced, was slated to air during the Olympics this summer, however, news of the show being scrapped for the [...]

  • V Wars Season 1

    'V-Wars,' 'October Faction' Canceled at Netflix After One Season Each

    Both “V-Wars” and “October Faction” have been canceled at Netflix after airing just one season apiece, Variety has confirmed. The two shows are both produced by IDW Entertainment, which is also behind the Netflix series adaptation of “Locke & Key.” News of the twin cancellations comes just after Netflix announced a season 2 pick up for [...]

  • FOX PRESENTS THE IHEART LIVING ROOM

    Fox, iHeart Execs Reveal Secrets Behind 'Living Room Concert' Performances (EXCLUSIVE)

    As recently as last Tuesday, just three artists had signed on to “Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America.” But after a week of scrambling and all-night editing sessions, the producers and executives behind the special managed to put together a one-hour event on Sunday night that attracted at least 8.7 million viewers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content