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One hundred days before the Olympics, Netflix imagines a killer shark in Sous la Seine and drowns out the controversy surrounding its thriller

On the eve of the Olympic Games, a carnivorous fish devours swimmers in the Parisian river.

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One hundred days before the Olympics, Netflix imagines a killer shark in Sous la Seine and drowns out the controversy surrounding its thriller

On the eve of the Olympic Games, a carnivorous fish devours swimmers in the Parisian river. A scientist, played by Bérénice Bejo, will then warn the authorities against this dangerous predator which, even more than the Escherichia coli bacteria, threatens to spoil the party. Presented at the Gérardmer Festival, the French production is one of the big projects expected on Netflix this summer but it is at the heart of a controversy.

Director Vincent Dietschy believes that the film strongly resembles his Silure project, which he has been preparing for more than ten years. Dissatisfied, the latter therefore took legal action. A big blow for Netflix which has just announced the release date of its film.

Author of medium and feature films, Vincent Dietschy has taken legal action against the producers of Sous la Seine, Édouard Duprey and Sébastien Aucher, the director of the artistic agency Adéquat Laurent Grégoire, and has also initiated summary proceedings against Netflix to prevent the broadcast of their production this summer. In any case not before the case is judged on the merits.

For its part, the streaming giant is playing deaf ears. Worse, he seems to ignore this procedure and reveals the trailer for Xavier Gens' film on Tuesday April 9 on his X account. The release date is scheduled for June 5, 2024. That is, three weeks before the opening of the Olympics. It could well give a cold sweat to the Olympic athletes who are preparing to swim in the Seine, particularly during the triathlon event.

The said legal procedure which will begin on April 22 will determine whether the release of the film is justified in view of the accusations made by Vincent Dietschy.

Le Monde got its hands on the screenplay for Catfish that Vincent Dietschy has been preparing for more than ten years. His pitch? “A young policewoman, a diver at the Paris river brigade, finds herself confronted with an unprecedented natural phenomenon, embodied by a gigantic catfish, terribly aggressive and a killer of human beings. While the monster sows panic in the capital, threatening the mayor's policies a few days before the choice of the city that will organize the Olympic Games, the heroine finds herself on the front line to face this figure of evil of a new kind. Helped in her fight by a young ichthyologist from the CNRS, she becomes closer at the same time to her hierarchical superior, the commander.” Vincent Dietschy submitted a file to the National Center for Cinema and Animated Images for a request for writing assistance on February 3, 2014. After working for a year on the script for Silure, with independent journalist Emily Barnett, he will not stop taking it up, and will look in vain for financing.

In 2022, when he learned that Netflix had started production of Sous la Seine, the director read the summary of the film on the internet and could only see the resemblance with that of Silure: “Summer 2024, Paris welcomes for the first time the triathlon world championships on the Seine. Sophia, a brilliant scientist, is alerted by Mika, a young activist devoted to ecology, of the presence of a large shark in the depths of the river. They have no choice but to team up with Adil, commander of the river police, to avoid a bloodbath in the heart of the city.

As reported by Le Monde, in law it is possible to submit a scenario but not an idea. Vincent Dietschy then decided to sue the initiators of Sous la Seine for unfair competition. The director does not believe in a concomitance of ideas. He particularly suspects the boss of the Adéquat agency, Laurent Grégoire, with whom he had discussed the financing of the film for several weeks before the International Comedy Film Festival in Alpe-d'Huez. It was that same year that Sébastien Auscher and Édouard Duprey launched the preparation of Sous la Seine. Questioned by Le Monde, Édouard Duprey claims to have never heard of the Silure project.

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