ROME — Long known as an ardent movie buff who likes to lunch with Hollywood stars, Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni has himself become a hot cinematic commodity.
Or rather, his books have.
Bigscreen adaptations of four tomes penned by the multi-tasking mayor are under way in Italy. Three are being made into features, while one is the basis for a docu on the plight of African nations.
Titled “Forse dio e malato,” loosely translated as “Perhaps God Isn’t Feeling Well,” the docu, helmed by Franco Brogi Taviani, draws on Veltroni’s African travel diary of the same name and will be released by Istituto Luce in 2007.
Next out will be a biopic of Italo jazz pianist Luca Flores who played with Chet Baker. Pic, based on Veltroni’s “Il disco del mondo,” is shooting with Kim Rossi Stewart (“Crime Novel”) as protag, produced by RAI Cinema.
A celluloid adaptation of Veltroni’s short-story collection, “Senza patricio,” set in an imaginary Argentina, is also in the works, to be helmed by auteur Gianni Amelio.
And film rights to terrorism-themed novel “La scoperta dell’alba,” a bestseller since it came out in September, have been acquired by Domenico Procacci.
Producing all that prose while also running the Italo capital has prompted speculation in some Italo circles that the mayor must have a ghostwriter.
But Veltroni, a former editor of leftist daily L’Unita, claims he is an insomniac who writes at night or on holiday and, in any event, very rapidly.