To be shot entirely in France starting this spring, the eight-episode drama was created and written by Dan Franck, writer of La Separation and co-writer of Carlos.
The tale of "power, corruption and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the French port city" will be about Robert Taro, mayor of the city for 25 years.
"The coming elections have him face the man he chose as his heir, an ambitious youngster aiming high. Both candidates will fight mercilessly. Marseille stages a fight around revenge, animated by drug lords, politicians, unions and the political players of the city," Netflix said in a synopsis.
No casting has been announced yet.
"Creating a series for an enormous audience and without any constraints will let us push to its limits a story about the Shakespearean theater of politics in a city where Alexandre Dumas and Jean-Claude Izzo, among others, have planted many spears," Franck said in a statement. "Netflix has given us a blank page to create a House of Cards in French that breaks through unspoken hypocrisy. This is a writer's dream and a great opportunity for French producers and creators to enter a new world."
"Marseille will take the audience right into the political arena where the old regime of traditional politicians are getting ready to face the younger generation of predators, thugs, and sometimes their own heirs. Netflix is giving us the perfect opportunity to tell this story from a uniquely French viewpoint, in association with some of France's best writers and directors. Produced entirely in France, Marseille has the potential to become one of the most gripping television events of the coming years," producer Pascal Breton said.
"Marseille is an ambitious, diabolically smart fictitious exploration of local politics in one of the world's most vibrant and fascinating cities," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. "We are delighted to be working with some of the best storytellers in France to deliver a series that erases the line between film and television."