BBC acquires new ‘Marie Antoinette’ series from makers of ‘Versailles’

A new historical TV drama about Marie Antoinette will air on BBC Two and iPlayer in the UK.

Produced by the team behind Versailles, the eight-part series is created and written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Deborah Davis, who co-wrote The Favourite.

Titled simply Marie Antoinette, the show is currently filming in many prestigious historical French locations, including the Châteaux of Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Lésigny, Champs, Voisins, and in the emblematic studios of Bry-sur-Marne.

The official synopsis reads: “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 underminding her reputation, the notorious figure would defeat the enemies of the Versailles court with courage and dignity.”

Three seasons of Versailles aired between 2015 and 2018.

Fabrice de la Patellière, Head of Drama CANAL+ commented: “The story of Marie Antoinette is timeless, and her life continues to intrigue and capture the imagination of contemporary viewers. The scripts for this series are compelling, and we have the ideal partners to bring the work of Deborah Davis to life. This is set to be a high-end, decadant drama with epic scale.”

François de Brugada, CEO of Banijay Studios France added: “Marie Antoinette is one of the most iconic figures in French history, and her fearless, fascinating life; with Deborah Davis leading the writing team, will make an undeniably powerful television series. We are ready to enchant viewers with stunning scenery from beautiful locations across France, and illustrate this audacious, controversial character who changed the history of our nation.”

Marie Antoinette will be played by Emilia Schüle (Ku’damm 56/63).

The cast also includes Jack Archer (The Bay) as Provence, Jasmine Blackborow (Shadow and Bone) as Lamballe, Louis Cunningham as Louis XVI, Crystal Shepherd-Cross (Versailles) as Adelaide, Caroline Piette as Victoire, Nathan Willcocks (Versailles) as Mercy, and Roxane Duran (Riviera) as Josephine.

A movie about Marie Antoinette was previously released in 2006, starring Kirsten Dunst.

The new Marie Antoinette series is set to premiere in the UK on BBC Two and on BBC iPlayer in 2022.

Sue Deeks, Head of Programme Acquisition, BBC, commented: “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.”

Deborah Davis will be joined on the writing team by Louise Ironside (The Split), Avril E. Russell (All on a Summer’s Day), and Chloë Moss (Run Sister Run).

Versailles is available on DVD on Amazon.