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News in brief

07 April 2022 à 14:23

"The King's Favorite," an ambitious historical fresco

The King's Favorite places one of the most famous courtesans of French history at the center of its plot. In the heart of the Renaissance and its flamboyant settings, the series offers a very modern story. Josée Dayan, director of the series, and Julia Schulte, director of international sales at France TV Distribution, talk about the ambitions of this program starring an exceptional cast, marking the return of the historical series to the small screen.

Unifrance: Can you tell us about the genesis of the project?

Josée DayanJosée DayanJosée Dayan: The series arose from a deep desire to make a great historical fresco with Isabelle Adjani. She is accompanied by a fantastic cast: Hugo Becker, Samuel Labarthe, Virginie Ledoyen, Gérard Depardieu, Gaia Girace, Olivier Gourmet, Jeanne Balibar, Joey Starr, Jacques Spiesser, Jean-François Balmer, Michel Fau, and Guillaume Gallienne.

Could you sum up the pitch, in a few sentences?

For more than twenty years, Diane de Poitiers was King Henri II’s favorite. Despite her strong character and her legendary beauty, Diane is just another courtesan and her position remains fragile. And Henri’s upcoming marriage to Catherine de Medici may jeopardize her dreams of domination. Diane will do anything to maintain her influence. But can her passion with Henri, twenty years younger than her, which is key to her power, really last forever?

What makes this series unique? What are its strengths that will appeal to an international audience?

JD: The uniqueness of this series lies in its exceptional cast, the beauty of the settings in the chateaux of the Loire, the magnificence of the Renaissance, incredibly gorgeous costumes, all of which are given a modern treatment.

What are your ambitions for the program internationally?

Julia SchulteJulia SchulteJulia Schulte: Our ambition is on par with the project, its budget, its exceptional and world-famous cast, and Josée Dayan's brilliant savoir-faire when it comes to the mise-en-scene. This marks the return of big historical productions and we are counting on European and international broadcasters.

You presented the series exclusively at the Coming Next from France pitching session, which took place during the Series Mania Forum. What are your impressions after this session? Do you already have contacts or leads for exporting the series?

JD: I presented two thirty-second clips at the Coming Next session and I sensed expectation and desire from the people present. As far as export contacts are concerned, France TV Distribution is in charge of international sales, and we are in contact with Unifrance. The series will be ready in May.

JS: I think the pitching session will be remembered; we've had a lot of intrigued, surprised, and impressed feedback about the project and Josée Dayan's presentation. We have already been approached by buyers from European linear channels since pitching it, and we are even talking to some major platforms that have expressed interest.

Contact : TV Department

Latest update : 27 September 2022 à 14:23 CEST

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France tv distribution

Activities :  Film exports/foreign sales, Co-production

Activities external to film production :  Distributor (short film), Video/DVD publishing

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