Banijay Rights today announces UK public broadcaster BBC Two has pre-bought new eight-part historical drama Marie Antionette.
Produced by Banijay Studios France, CAPA Drama and Les Gens, the acquisition marks the first international deal for this CANAL+ Creation Originale. The agreement was negotiated by Chris Stewart, SVP Sales, UK & Eire, Banijay Rights.
Created and written by Deborah Davis (The Favourite), Marie Antoinette tells the story of the incredibly modern and avant-garde young queen, played by Emilia Schüle (Ku’damm 56/ 63). Joining Deborah Davis in writing the ambitious drama is Louise Ironside (The Split), Avril E. Russell (All on a Summer’s Day) and Chloë Moss (Run Sister Run). The series is directed by Pete Travis (Bloodlands) and Geoffrey Enthoven (Children of Love).
Marie Antoinette is produced by Claude Chelli and Margaux Balsan for Capa Drama, Alban Étienne and Stéphanie Chartreux for Banijay Studios France, and Christophe Toulemonde for Les Gens. Filming has commenced in many prestigious historical places including the Châteaux of Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Lésigny, Champs, Voisins, and in the emblematic studios of Bry-sur-Marne.
Chris Stewart, SVP Sales, UK & Eire, Banijay Rights, said: “Marie Antoinette is an extraordinary fresh new take on one of France’s most iconic – and controversial – figures, filled with stunning scenery, fine performances and epic costumes. Following on from the success of Versailles on BBC Two, we are excited to again bring the extravagance and excitement of French court life to UK viewers.”
Sue Deeks, Head of Programme Acquisitions, BBC, said: “Marie Antoinette possesses an enduring fascination and Deborah Davis has a very singular vision for her story – we are truly delighted to be bringing this ambitious project to BBC Two and iPlayer.“
Marie Antoinette was barely 14 years old when she left Austria to marry the Dauphin of France. Growing from a stubborn young princess navigating the rules of the French court under pressure to continue the Bourbon line, to a true fashion icon, she impressed with her natural charisma, and recreated life in Versailles in her image: free, independent and feminist ahead of time. Even with rumours undermining her reputation, the notorious figure would defeat the enemies of the Versailles court with courage and dignity.