Under Paris: Xavier Gens, Netflix shark thriller hit with parasitism lawsuit

Producers of the Netflix shark thriller Under Paris have been hit with a parasitism lawsuit by the filmmaker behind a killer catfish project

Last Updated on June 14, 2024

Under Paris

Under Paris, a shark thriller from genre regular Xavier Gens, is set to be released through the Netflix streaming service on June 5th – but producers Sébastien Auscher and Edouard Duprey have been hit with a parasitism lawsuit filed by filmmaker Vincent Dietschy, who claims that Under Paris resembles a project called Silure, which he began working on in 2011. According to Deadline, if a judge rules in favor of Dietschy at the initial hearing on June 14th, Netflix might have to remove Under Paris just days after its release, as Dietschy’s lawyer has requested that the release of the film be suspended while the parasitism lawsuit makes its way through the court system.

Dietschy says he registered Silure with France’s rights management body SACD in 2012. Going by article 1240 of France’s Civil Code, parasitism is what it’s called when “one party follows in the footsteps of another party’s efforts and know-how to benefit from their enterprise without seeking permission or making payment.” Dietschy believes that Auscher and Duprey learned about Silure after he pitched it to an agent in 2014 and a dossier that included a 23 page treatment was sent around to other producers in 2015. Inspired by Jaws, Silure told the story of a young policewoman, a diver at the Paris River brigade, who 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 (National Scientific Research Centre) she becomes closer at the same time to her hierarchical superior, the commander.

Under Paris, of course, focuses on a shark rather than a catfish. The film has the following synopsis: Set in the Summer of 2024, the film unfolds in Paris which is hosting the World Triathlon Championships on the Seine for the first time. Sophia, a brilliant scientist, learns from Mika, a young environmental activist, that a large shark is swimming deep in the river. To avoid a bloodbath at the heart of the city, they have no choice but to join forces with Adil, the Seine river police commander.

Bérénice Bejo, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in the silent film The Artist, Léa Léviant of Mortel, and Nassim Lyes of Overdose star. Gens’ previous directorial credits include the films Frontier(s), Hitman, The Divide, The Crucifixion, Cold Skin, Budapest, and Mayhem!, plus episodes of the shows Mortel, Gangs of London, and Crossing Lines. Gens also directed the X is for XXL segment of the horror anthology The ABCs of Death.

Auscher and Duprey, who first announced they were working on a shark thriller together in 2015, deny they were ever aware of Silure before making Under Paris: “We had never heard of Silure until the formal notice we received last year from Mr. Dietschy’s Counsel. Under Paris is an original project, and we’ll exercise our right to defend ourselves in the court proceedings brought by Mr. Dietschy. We will be asking the Court to award us significant damages for defamation, because we’re facing a very aggressive, totally unfounded procedure, which has caused significant harm, reputationally and professionally.

Dietschy’s lawyer Maître Héloïse de Castelnau expects the lawsuit to go on for a while: “Parasitism is where you use other people’s work, without making an exact copy… it will be a long and drawn-out case due to the analysis of the contracts and paperwork involved, and I wouldn’t expect a judgement for at least a year.” De Castelnau is hoping to keep Netflix from releasing Under Paris because “its diffusion represents an problem for my client.

Are you looking forward to Under Paris? Do you think Netflix should hold off on the release until this lawsuit is resolved? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.