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Rai Com Takes World Sales on Matteo Garrone’s ‘Dogman’

Garrone's 'Pinocchio' project moved to next year

Italian Director Matteo Garrone Leaves After
Ferrari/ansa/REX/Shutterstock

ROME – Italy’s Rai Com has taken international sales outside Italy, France and the UK on Italian director Matteo Garrone’s next film “Dogman,” a revenge drama set on Rome’s crime-ridden outskirts, which Garrone’s own Archimede Films is producing with financing from Rai Cinema and France’s Le Pacte.

HanWay, the company founded by British producer Jeremy Thomas, will distribute the film in the UK, while Rai Cinema will release it in Italy and Le Pacte in France.

“Dogman,” which Garrone is planning to shoot this year, is inspired by a homicide committed by a coked-out dog groomer during the late 1980s in the gangland outside Rome. The case, involving hours of torture in a dog cage, is considered among the most gruesome in Italian postwar history. Casting is still being decided.

Described by the director as “a Western in an urban and contemporary context,” the project will see Garrone return to subject matter similar to that of “Gomorrah,” his 2008 portrayal of the Neapolitan mob, which became a global arthouse hit.

“Dogman” will be set “in a [Roman] periphery where the law of the jungle prevails, honor and money are the only things that naturally mean something, and drugs and violence are the only way out,” Garrone said in a statement.

Garrone last year had announced he would next direct a live-action “Pinocchio” adaptation, for which shooting had been set to start this spring. But the project is being delayed because of difficulties in raising the substantial budget required for its special effects.

Le Pacte chief Jean Labadie revealed at a recent Rome confab on French-Italian co-productions that France’s Canal Plus had passed on investing in “Pinocchio,” noting that the paybox is drastically cutting back. However, Labadie, with whom Garrone has a longstanding relationship, vowed that the adaptation of author Carlo Collodi’s classic about a wooden puppet “will be made.”

According to a rep for HanWay, which had started selling “Pinocchio” at last year’s AFM,  its production has now been moved to February 2018.

This article was corrected on May 10