Top Italo thesps join Rome-set pic
ROME — Italo A-list thesps Riccardo Scamarcio, Isabella Ferrari and Sergio Rubini are in advanced negotiations to join Woody Allen’s Rome-set project, which is working-titled “Bop Decameron.”Scamarcio, a local heartthrob who is breaking-out internationally (“Eden Is West,” “Polisse”), Ferrari (“Quiet Chaos”) and Rubini (“The Passion of the Christ”) will beef up the Italian contingent of Allen’s first — albeit partial — foray into Italian-language filmmaking. Roberto Benigni, whose presence in the pic has been announced by Allen, is expected to have a substantial role, though his participation remains to be contractualized. As recently revealed by Variety — and subsequently confirmed by Allen — the pic is set in contempo Rome, but loosely inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” the classic collection of 100 bawdy novellas written in the 1350s. It consists of four separate vignettes. Two are stories with American characters set in Rome, while the other two involve Italian characters, also set in Rome. The vignettes never intersect. Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz and Alec Baldwin have long been attached to star. Last month, Allen also announced that Judy Davis had joined the cast. Allen, who is directing from his own screenplay, has also said he will play a role, his first onscreen appearance since 2006′s “Scoop.” Cameras are set to start rolling July 11 in the Italian capital. The film, which is financed by Italy’s Medusa, and produced by Allen’s longtime producers, Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, along with Helen Robin, has a Euros 17 million ($24.8 million) budget. Line producer David Nichols (“The Tourist”) is organizing the shoot in tandem with Cinecitta Studios. Cinecitta Studios will provide production services to the pic, which will shoot in Rome, but probably not on its backlot.