Berenice Bejo to Star in ‘Josephine and Napoleon’ Series
French network France Televisions has joined London-based Ecosse Films and Paris-based Federation Entertainment to coproduce JOSEPHINE AND NAPOLEON, a 8 X 52’ international period drama series currently in development.
World star Bérénice Bejo, Oscar nominee for Best Actress performance for The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius), winner of Best Actress award at Cannes Film Festival for The Past (Asghar Farhadi) will play Joséphine.
The series is created by leading showrunner Tony Saint (Das Boot, Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley, Strike Back). During the French Revolution Josephine, 35 years old, a mischievous aristocrat born in the French West Indies, meets a quick-tempered and ambitious 25 years old general from Corsica, Napoleon Bonaparte, and together they become the most powerful couple in the world.
Images of Napoleon Bonaparte have been scorched into the historical record. But alongside his name, there sits another: that of Josephine, his first wife, lover and muse. And for the first time on television this series will put Josephine at the heart of their meteoric rise, breaking through the carapace of legend to get to the true, fascinating and surprising story that lies behind it.
JOSEPHINE AND NAPOLEON is a dramatic, pulsating and intriguing examination of how two colonial outsiders from the French islands achieved the most audacious and extraordinary ascent to power in human history.
With a rich cast of Machiavellian fixers, déclassé aristocrats and scheming lovers thrown into the mix, this will be a marquee historical series that is both provocative and highly entertaining.
The series is based on the acclaimed historical biographies written by Andrew Roberts (Napoleon: A Life) and Kate Williams (The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte).
Tony Saint will be working with a distinguished French writer to be announced soon.
Tony Saint, EP and showrunner: ‘’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.’’
Douglas Rae, Managing Director Ecosse Films: “We are honoured to be working with two of Europe’s most distinguished programme makers, France 2 and Federation Entertainment, on such a bold and ambitious coproduction. Josephine’s role in Napoleon’s destiny will surprise and thrill audiences across the world.”
Pascal Breton, CEO Federation Entertainment: “We’re thrilled to be working with France Televisions and Ecosse Films to serialize two of France’s greatest historical figures: Josephine and Napoleon. Having the wonderful actress Berenice Bejo join us to embody Joséphine makes the project even more exciting’’.
Takis Candilis, Managing Director Content France Télévisions: ‘’Rare are projects such as this one that reveal historical figures with such accuracy and wit. We are thrilled to see French history serialized and portrayed with a modern approach. Josephine was a free, strong and influential woman, remarkable in her day, incredibly relevant for our time. We are extremely proud that Bérénice Bejo will star in this series’’.
JOSEPHINE AND NAPOLEON is produced by Douglas Rae, Kate Triggs and Robert Bernstein (Ecosse Films) and Pascal Breton and Lionel Uzan (Federation Entertainment).
Shooting is scheduled for end of Summer 2019 in France. The series will be shot in English, by a duo of English and French directors.