As Netflix gears up to enter the French market with original series Marseille, the streaming giant is recruiting one of the country’s most widely respected and frequently awarded actors. Gerard Depardieu, who has been nominated for the Best Actor in a Leading Role César 15 times in his career and won it twice, will be taking on a key role in the buzzy series, Netflix announced today.
Depardieu will play Robert Taro, Marseille’s longtime mayor, who finds himself facing off against his ambitious younger protégé (Benoit Magimel) in an election. Suddenly, it’s in question who will hold office in the seaport city, a prospect Taro is none too pleased about. Geraldine Pailhas (Don Juan DeMarco) and Nadia Fares (The Crimson Rivers) also have key roles.
Marseille has been compared to Netflix’s own House of Cards, and the streaming giant is certainly hoping to wrangle similar numbers and acclaim for it, both in France and domestically. To further push the series, Netflix has greenlit a production entirely within France.
Carlos co-writer Dan Franck is behind the series, and directors for the first season will include Florent Emilio Siri (Hostage), Xavier Gens (Hitman) and Cedric Anger (Next Time I’ll Aim For The Heart). Marseille was originally supposed to arrive later this year, but the show is now expected to debut all eight episodes of its freshman run sometime early in 2016.