Belgian director Pieter Van Hees is to direct the final three episodes of the third season of Versailles, a Canal+ period drama depicting the turbulent early reign of the Sun King.

Pieter Van Hees (c)Toon Aerts/De MensenCreated by Simon Mirren (Criminal Minds, Without a Trace) and David Wolstencroft (Spooks), Versailles tells the story of the all-powerful king of France, Louis XIV, who decides to build the greatest palace in the world at Versailles. With the war against Holland won and his nemesis William of Orange crushed, Louis’ ambitions to expand his empire seem unstoppable. But the people of France are sick of paying taxes and a rebellion grows. Meanwhile, the presence of a mysterious prisoner whose face is hidden behind an iron mask looms in the background and threatens to destroy everything Louis has been trying to achieve.

Filming started on May 3 and will continue until mid-October. Van Hees leaves for France on July 10 and starts shooting the final three episodes of the 10-part-series towards the end of August. “I’m really honoured to have been asked to direct this prestigious series which is broadcast around the world,” says the director of such features as Waste Land, Dirty Mind and Left Bank. “I really look forward to start shooting.”

In addition to Van Hees, two Belgian DOPs – Anton Mertens and Christophe Nuyens – will also board the project. Mertens’s credits include Belgian hit series Beau Séjour and Clan, while Nuyens was involved in Cordon, Code 37 and international series such as The Tunnel 2, Rivièra and Hassel.

Earlier this year, Versailles won TV France’s International Export Prize in the Drama category. Rights have been sold to 135 countries including the US (Netflix), the UK (BBC), Germany, Russia, Australia and Scandinavia. Versailles Season 3 is a Canal+ Original Series, produced by Capa Drama, Banijay Studios France, Entre Chien et Loup (Ennemi public) and Zodiak Belgium (New Texas).

Photo: Toon Aerts/De Mensen

Published on Friday 30 June 2017

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