You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Italy’s Cinecittà Studios Commemorate Fellini And Seek To Bounce Back

"Christ The Lord: Out Of Egypt," based on the Anne Rice novel, will shoot at Cinecittà in January 2014

ROME – Cinecittà Studios paid homage to Federico Fellini on Friday with a commemorative plaque placed by Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino outside the Studio 5 soundstage where the maestro made many of his pics. The ceremony came just as Italy’s top production facility is poised for a long-gestating revamp and a renewed effort to lure foreign shoots.

The Fellini commemoration, attended by “8 ½” star Claudia Cardinale, by Italo Culture Czar Massimo Bray, Cinecittà Studios prexy Luigi Abete,  and plenty of prominent Italo industryites, served as a springboard to try and push through a planned revamp of the Cinecittà complex, parts of which date back to 1937.

A comprehensive plan also involves improving Italy’s generous 25% tax break for foreign film shoots, now capped at $7 million, by eliminating that cap and also extending the incentive to TV productions, Cinecittà Studio managing director Giuseppe Basso told Variety.

Basso said he was cautiously optimistic about biz picking up at the historic studios known as Hollywood on the Tiber in their 1960’s heyday which have long been languishing with production levels plummeting since the 1990’s.

Encouragingly, in January 2014 Cinecittà will become Jerusalem for Hollywood epic “Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt,” based on the Anne Rice novel, helmed by Cyrus Nowrasteh, and produced by 1492 Pictures’ Chris Colombus, Mark Radcliffe, and Michael Barnathan, along with Hyde Park Entertainment, CJ Entertainment and Ocean Blue.

Wes Anderson, who shot “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” at Cinecittà in 2003, recently returned to the studios to shoot his Prada-produced short “Castello Cavalcanti.”

In another sign that things are evolving, a $600 million Cinecitta theme park designed by multiple-Oscar-winning production designer designer Dante Ferretti on a separate site is now near completion, with plans to open in mid-2014, Ferretti told Variety.

A $200 million makeover of the studios announced at the start of this year is now reaching final stages of its approval process in modified form. Aside from financing, the approval involves negotiations with workers at the studios who have been opposing the original plan which entailed building a hotel on the lot, considered by critics  a useless “cementification,” as well as a new soundstage.

Earlier this week a fire broke out at Cinecittà which burned down the “Big Brother” house built for the 13th edition of the Endemol reality show which airs on Mediaset in Italy. Police are investigating the suspected  arson which was the third major fire at Cinecittà in six years. The “Big Brother” house is being rebuilt in time for the show to air in January 2014, Basso said.


Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Climbing Blind

    ‘Climbing Blind’ Snares Kendal Mountain Festival Grand Prize

    KENDAL    “Climbing Blind,” from Alastair Lee, took the Grand Prize at the 2019 Kendal Mountain Festival on Saturday. Detailing the ascent of a vertical rock pillar, the film revealed how a blind mountaineer led the climb, assisted only by a sight-partner a rope length below. The film had particular significance for a British audience, [...]

  • Jon Voight'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' film

    President Trump to Award Jon Voight the National Medal of Arts

    President Trump will present actor Jon Voight, musician Allison Krauss, and mystery writer James Patterson with the national medal of arts. Voight is one of few in Hollywood who has been vocal about his support of President Trump in the past, calling him “the greatest president of this century.” The White House announced four recipients [...]

  • Zack Snyder arrives at the 2018

    'Justice League': Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder Support Release of 'Snyder Cut'

    Zack Snyder, Gal Gadot, and Ben Affleck have taken to social media to request that Warner Bros. release the Snyder cut of “Justice League.” Snyder, who helmed “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman” and was “Justice League’s” original director, had to leave production on the film partway through after his daughter died, with Joss [...]

  • Whose Side Is 'Marriage Story' On?

    Whose Side Is 'Marriage Story' On? (Column)

    Do we choose sides when we watch “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach’s brilliant and wrenching drama of divorce? The question, on the face of it, sounds facile in a dozen ways the movie isn’t. Rarely are there winners in divorce, and there are two sides to every breakup. “Marriage Story” is a movie that reflects that [...]

  • The Letter

    IDFA: Kenyan Documentary ‘The Letter’ Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given access to the trailer for Kenyan documentary “The Letter,” by producer-director duo Christopher King and Maia Lekow, which world premieres Nov. 23 at IDFA. The film follows a young man who travels to his grandmother’s rural home when he learns she’s been accused of witchcraft. He soon discovers that the threatening letter she [...]

  • Warner Bros. Box Office

    With 'Good Liar' and 'Doctor Sleep,' Warner Bros.' Box Office Misfortunes Mount

    When Warner Bros. was crafting its 2019 slate, the studio took pains to offer more than just superhero movies. To be sure, there were lots of masked vigilantes too, but more than any of its big studio brethren, Warner Bros. was willing to take a risk on the kinds of thrillers, adult dramas, coming-of-age stories, [...]

  • Constance Wu

    Will Constance Wu Ever Watch 'Hustlers'?

    Despite her leading role, Constance Wu has never seen “Hustlers” and, spoiler alert, it’s very unlikely that she will. Wu explained why she doesn’t want to watch the film to Mindy Kaling (“Late Night”) during a conversation for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” “This is crazy,” Kaling said in the beginning of the interview. “I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content