Italo shingle Fandango options late journo's 'A Man'

Oriana Fallaci, the late, great Italian journalist who became known all over the world for her feisty reporting and often-contoversial nonconformist ideas, is getting the cinematic treatment.

Italian producer Domenico Procacci told Variety he has just acquired an option from publisher Rizzoli for a film adaptation of Fallaci’s bestselling 1980 memoir “A Man,” about her turbulent love affair in the 1970s with Greek revolutionary Alexandros Panagoulis.

Procacci, who has “just signed the contract,” said he will now start “working on finding an international cast and an A-list director.”

His long list of producer credits include Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah” and Gabriele Muccino’s “The Last Kiss,” and is in Venice with several films, including Carlo Mazzacurati’s comedy “La Passione,” which he produced, and Richard J. Lewis’ Dustin Hoffman-starrer “Barney’s Version,” which he co-produced.

The plan is for “A Man,” which was published in the U.S. by Simon & Schuster, to become an English-language co-production.

Having interviewed many world leaders and celebrities — drawing them out to rarely achieved depths — Fallaci was already a star journalist in 1973 when she met Panagoulis, at that time leader of the Greek resistance to the ruling military regime, as well as a poet, and became his lover.

They spent three tempestuous years together, during which she lost a baby after he kicked her in the stomach.

She left him after he had the audacity to ask her to wash his socks.

Yet those years are considered the happiest in Fallaci’s life. Panagoulis died shortly after they split up in a car accident which many, Fallaci included, assumed to be murder.

“It’s the first time these film rights (have been) optioned,” Procacci said, adding that he was “very happy” that Rizzoli picked his Fandango shingle over other offers “from Hollywood.”

Procacci recounted that over the years several big names in the U.S. — including Robert Redford and Robert De Niro — tried to convince Fallaci, who died in 2006, to let them option “A Man.”

But because it was such a personal story “she became a total a control freak, and wanted to have final say on everything,” said Procacci, who called “A Man” above all else “a great love story; classic, but very modern.”

Concurrently, his Fandango shingle is developing a TV series about Fallaci’s life that is being penned by Italo scribes Stefano Rulli and Sandro Petraglia (“Best of Youth”) for Italian pubcaster RAI.

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