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Luc Besson To Direct TV Series Based On James Patterson's Novels

Filmmaker Luc Besson is turning to the small screen for his next project. 

Variety reports that Besson has signed on to direct The French Detective, a forthcoming series based on author James Patterson's Luc Moncrief mystery novels. ABC handed the drama project a put pilot commitment on Tuesday in a deal that sees The Artist actor Jean Dujardin starring in the lead role. The French Detective will mark both Besson's television directorial debut and Dujardin's first television role in the United States. 

Described as a "light procedural drama," The French Detective will follow Moncrief, a Parisian detective who relocates to New York and takes up a job with the New York Police Department in an effort to leave his past life in the shadows and begin things anew. The series is intended to chronicle Moncrief and his "blue collar female partner" as they crack the case on New York's most complicated, incomprehensible crimes–all while he attempts to prevent his dark past from creeping back into his life.

Bill Collage and Adam Cooper(Assassin's Creed, Exodus, Allegiant), along with Jonathan Collier (The Good Cop, Bones, King of the Hill), developed The French Detective for television and are attached to executive produce. Besson, Patterson, and Leopoldo Gout and Bill Robinson of James Patterson Entertainment join as executive producers. Besson's own EuropaCorp TV Studios acts as the overarching producer.

Best known to American audiences for his work in the silent film The Artist, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, Dujardin has also appeared in films like The Monuments Men and The Wolf of Wall Street

Besson now serves as an executive producer on NBC's Taken, and recently launched the sci-fi adventure film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets to lamentable reviews. The rest of his filmography, however, is oft-praised, and includes movies such as The Transporter, Léon: The Professional, and The Fifth Element.

As for Patterson, The French Detective is yet another television project based on his writings that is currently underway. CBS, where James Patterson Entertainment is under an overall deal, is gearing up to release Instinct, the Alan Cumming-led series that uses Patterson's work as its source material. The studio is also developing a drama series entitled Innocent, which Patterson is on board to executive produce. Fellow network Showtime has its hands in an adaptation of The President is Missing, Patterson's upcoming novel he co-wrote with former U.S. President Bill Clinton. 

No further details on The French Detective have been given, but we'll keep you in the loop as more information becomes available.