Riccardo Scamarcio

Italian A-list actor-turned-producer Riccardo Scamarcio will shepherd and star in “Pericle il Nero” (“Pericles the Black Man”), a noir based on the eponymous Italo cult novel by Giuseppe Farrandino, published in France by the Gallimard Noir imprint.

Long-gestating pic – which at one point Abel Ferrara was attached to direct – will be helmed by Stefano Mordini, whose “Steel” was in Venice Days in 2012. Scamarcio will play the title role, Pericle, a slave-like hit-man who gains self-awareness and freedom from the shackles of the mob world after meeting a woman.

While the book is set in Naples and Pescara, the film will transpose the narrative mainly to Brussels.

“Naples is being done to death in Italian movies these days, so we are transposing it to a more aseptic setting,” said Scamarcio.

His most recent role is playing a mad Italian chef alongside protag Bradley Cooper in the untitled John Wells project currently shooting in London, produced by Harvey Weinstein. He also starred in Paul Haggis’ “Third Person” and Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love.”

“Pericle,” which is budgeted at Euros 2.5 million ($3.2 million) is being co-produced by Scamarcio and Valeria Golino’s Buena Onda with RAI Cinema and unspecified French and Belgian partners who are in advanced talks.

The plan is to start shooting in Brussels in March. Scamarcio is currently closing negotiations for a female French star for the film, which will be in Italian and French.

Scamarcio, who produced Valeria Golino’s well-received and widely sold directorial debut “Miele,” is on the Lido as producer of Renato de Maria’s Horizons title “The Obscene Life.” He also appears in Abel Ferrara’s competition entry “Pasolini.”

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