ROME – Italian producer Aurelio De Laurentiis is back to producing in Hollywood, he announced while receiving an Honorary Degree from the American University of Rome.
De Laurentiis, who is the nephew of late great movie mogul Dino De Laurentiis and a mogul in his own right, was honored Friday (May 23) for his accomplishments in film – his Filmauro has released more than 400 movies – and also in sports. In 2004 De Laurentiis branched out and purchased then down-and-out Napoli soccer club, which is now among the world’s top thirty teams.
A decade later, De Laurentiis is now bent on relaunching his movie side and preparing to make his first foray into American longform TV.
“It’s been ten years since I last worked in Los Angeles,” De Laurentiis said. The last U.S. picture he made was 2004 retro sci-fier “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” which he bankrolled himself.
Though details are being kept under wraps, Laurentiis is now developing three U.S. movie projects for theatrical release. “A year ago I hired some U.S. screenwriters to develop three ideas I had. Two scripts are now at the third draft and polish,” he said. A third English-language feature film project is in earlier stages.
De Laurentiis also has two projects for English-language television series in the works, marking a first for the flamboyant producer who has always had an international vision, even though his biggest cash cow is his longstanding largely local Italian Christmas comedies franchise.
“I’ve seen some great things on American TV, much better than the movies for theatrical,” says De Laurentiis, citing “Vikings” and “Californication” among his favourites.
De Laurentiis will also be pursuing new opportunities in the U.S. sports arena, he said.