This August, Canal+ will be filming a new historical series called Versailles as part of its “Original Creation” label. The first two episodes will be directed by Jalil Lespert (on the picture), to whom we owe the recent Yves Saint Laurent biopic.
The series will consist of 10 52-minute episodes, is filmed in English, and is coproduced by France’s Capa Drama, Zodiak and Canada’s Incendo. Showrunners Simon Mirren (Without a Trace, Criminal Minds) and David Wolstencroft (Spooks) have written five episodes in addition to handling executive production, together with Anne Thomopoulos (Borgia, Rome, Camelot).
Fabrice de La Patellière, French fiction and coproductions director for Canal+, said he was “very pleased to launch this ambitious series with our partners. It’s a perfect match for the editorial line of our original creations with regard to international coproductions. The perspective Simon Mirren and David Wolstencroft provide on this key moment in French history is the guarantee of an originality and modernity that will be unique for all of us.”
Versailles will feature Louis XIV as a young king haunted by a childhood trauma: a series of civil wars known as La Fronde. Determined to never again experience such vulnerability, he will methodically do everything in his means to become the greatest king in France’s history and to make his kingdom the most powerful in Europe. In the first season, we will watch the young man transform into the Sun King. Historical and fictional characters, from the most famous courtesans to the humblest of villagers, will guide us through a world of treachery, secrets, political manoeuvring and declarations of war, revealing Versailles in all its glory and brutality.