Salvatores takes on ‘Commands’

Film based on Ammanniti novel

ROME — Gabriele Salvatores will start shooting in February on “Come Dio comanda” (“As God Commands”), the Oscar-winning Italo helmer’s second film based on a book by best-selling novelist Niccolo Ammanniti.

“Commands,” a dark father-and-son drama centered around 11-year-old Cristiano and his neo-Nazi dad, will begin lensing Feb. 4 in the Northern Friuli region strewn with strip malls and condos, a setting congenial to its contempo dystopian feel.

Maurizio Totti’s Colorado Film is producing the Euros 6 million ($8.8 million) pic in tandem with RAI Cinema, which will distribute in Italy.

Attached thesps include Filippo Timi (“In Memory of Myself”) as the father, and Elio Germano (“My Brother Is an Only Child”) as an influential friend of the adolescent Cristiano who is still being cast.

The screenplay is by Ammaniti and Antonio Manzini.

Ammaniti’s eponymous novel recently won Italy’s top literary nod, the Premio Strega, which has helped boost sales of the book beyond 300,000 copies locally.

Salvatores in 2003 adapted Ammaniti’s previous best-seller “I’m Not Scared,” which became the acclaimed kidnapped child drama, released Stateside by Miramax, and also Salvatores’ biggest box office success since his 1991 foreign Oscar-winning “Mediterraneo.”

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