ROME – Netflix has inked a deal to produce its first original Italian series, the 10-episode “Suburra,” about ties between mob and politics in contempo Rome.
The first Italo production from Netflix is being produced by Cattleya, the prominent Italo shingle behind internationally exported TV hits, including Sky Italia’s “Gomorrah” and “Romanzo Criminale” (“Crime Novel”) skeins. Interestingly, Cattleya is producing “Suburra” in collaboration with Italian public service broadcaster Rai.
“Suburra” is being touted as “a captivating story that involves politics, the Vatican, the mafia, corruption, money laundering, drugs and prostitution.”
The announcement comes just prior to Netflix launching into Italy on October 22.
The series directed by Stefano Sollima (“Gomorrah”) is being produced by Cattleya with Rai Cinema with which Cattleya has also produced a “Suburra” feature film (pictured) which will kick off the saga. The “Suburra” movie is slated for release via Rai Cinema’s 01 Distribution in Italian theatres on Oct. 14. Netflix will debut the movie in the U.S. and Latin America day and date.
“Suburra” is based on a real recent scandal that broke out in the Italian capital. It revolves around the criminal battle over Ostia, a seaside town outside of Rome being developed into a gambling paradise. Skein involves a corrupt member of parliament, Filippo Malgradi (Pierfrancesco Favino), the head of a powerful family that runs the territory, called Number 8 (Alessandro Borghi), and Sebastiano (Elio Germano), a young event organizer, as well as corrupt religious leaders and rival Mafiosi including the Samurai (Claudio Amendola) who represents the most feared faction in Roman organized crime. “They all reveal an endemic system of corruption and rampant illegality on an international scale,” a Netflix statement said.
Production of the series is planned to start in the second half of 2016 with plans to premiere globally on Netflix in 2017. Rai will air the “Suburra” show on one of its generalist channels in Italy after it goes out on Netflix.
“Netflix has revolutionized how we watch television and what we watch,” enthused Cattleya founder Riccardo Tozzi.
“To partner with them is an extraordinary opportunity to engage audiences around the world and to contribute to further developing the medium,” he added.
Rai general director Antonio Campo Dall’Orto called the collaboration proof of the pubcaster’s “new strategic direction to innovate and compete in Italy and abroad.”
Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini, authors of the “Suburra” expose which delved into the so-called “Mafia Capital” scandal that broke in 2014 boasted that the book, on which the series is based, is “a journey into the black heart of Rome, uncovering and bringing to light many of the current scandals, well in advance of their making headlines in the international press.”