Netflix Orders 'Osmosis' as Second French Original

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

It's the first of six European series to be unveiled before year's end and was announced a day after the Cannes Film Festival changed its rules because of the streaming giant's competition entry this year.

Netflix has taken on Osmosis as its second French original series.

The eight-episode sci-fi romantic drama is a long way from its gritty political drama Marseille. It is set in a near-future Paris where an algorithm can find your soulmate and centers on trying to solve the eternal question of what makes lasting love.

The announcement — paired with a release that highlighted that the company was creating 400 jobs at its Amsterdam-based customer service hub — comes on the heels of the controversy surrounding its inclusion in the Cannes Film Festival lineup.

“We are delighted to announce the creation of jobs in Europe," said CEO Reed Hastings. "Europe is a creative center for great storytelling that resonates around the world and we continue to invest in European content."

This will also be one of at least six new European original series to be announced before the end of 2017, with the promise of more French content," said Netflix vp international originals Erik Barmack. The company has 90 productions in various stages of development, he said. 

Audrey Fouche (Borgia, Les Revenants) will come on board as showrunner for Osmosis, with Versailles’ team of Aude Albano and Claude Chelli producing for their Capa Drama label. Capa parent Newen Group’s distribution arm was behind the deal.  

“Netflix offers us the tremendous opportunity to explore a rare genre in France: grounded sci-fi, which focuses on this universal question: Does perfect love exist … and at what price? We are eager to begin this audacious project in collaboration with Netflix and to surprise and delight their subscribers in France and around the world,” said Albano.

“I am very excited about the rare opportunity to create a futuristic series in France, and join together with Netflix and Capa Drama for my first project," said Fouche. “As a young creator, Netflix offers an ideal platform to explore these very contemporary stories in an innovative way, which I am looking forward to sharing soon.”

“We are delighted to work with such talented French storytellers and producers for one of our next French original series,” said Barmack.

The Cannes Film Festival’s decision to require any film in competition to have a theatrical release in France is starting next year. It’s the first year Netflix has had any films in the festival, and it scored two with the competition title Okja and the Adam Sandler-starrer The Meyerowitz Stories out of competition, only to be met by vigorous protest from theater owners in France before the festival decided to change the rules, effectively barring Netflix from future competition unless it complies.

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