ROME — The Weinstein Company has closed a deal with Beta Film to acquire U.S. rights to “Gomorrah,” the hot Italo TV series that depicts the real Neapolitan mob with a degree of authenticity never seen before.
The deal marks the first time an Italian TV skein gets potential access to millions of U.S. TV homes. Though it is not known yet what U.S. outlet will carry the show, Netflix, with which TWC has a multiyear pact, seems like a good fit.
Shot in Naples and its crime-ridden environs, “Gomorrah” is a TV spinoff of the gritty eponymous Matteo Garrone movie that was based on Roberto Saviano’s bestselling investigative tome.
The first series of the skein, consisting of 12 one-hour episodes, is co-produced by Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Italia paybox with Rome’s Cattleya, Domenico Procacci’s Fandango – which produced the film – Italo free TV La 7 and Germany’s Beta Film.
The “Gomorrah” TV series tells the story of 30-year-old Ciro (Marco d’Amore), the right hand of the Savastano clan’s godfather Pietro (Fortunato Cerlino), and the ruthless war to take over “the System.”
Some of the 12 episodes are told through the eyes of the boss; others from the perspective of his hit men, or of his wife, or of their son and heir to the criminal kingdom.
Sollima, who helmed Sky’s widely exported “Crime Novel,” directed six “Gomorrah” episodes, while helmer Claudio Cupellini (“A Quiet Life”) and Francesca Comencini (“A Special Day”) helmed three each.
Saviano oversaw the script for the TV adaptation, which Sollima has described as “more dramatic, more post-modern and more pop, even visually,” than the Garrone pic. “But just as rooted in reality.”
“This is a project that caught our eye a while back for its world class acting talent, as well as Stefano Sollima’s phenomenal abilities to craft a thriller like none other,” enthused TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein.
The “Gomorrah” deal was negotiated for TWC by COO David Glasser, Michal Steinberg, exec VP, business/legal affairs & acquisitions, and Robert Walak, president-managing director Europe, production, acquisitions and TV with Dirk Schürhoff of Beta on behalf of the filmmakers. It will be officially announced at MIP tomorrow (April 8).
Negotiations with TWC began at last year’s Mipcom. Beta Film has sold the show to more than 30 countries.
“We are thrilled that, thanks to our international partners, ‘Gomorrah’ will be available for such a wide international audience after its debut on our newly launched channel Sky Atlantic,” said Sky Italia’s programming exec VP Andrea Scrosati.
TWC is also mulling a U.S. adaptation of the “Gomorrah” skein, according to sources.