×

Sean Bean and ‘24′ Director Jon Cassar Join Second Season of ‘Medici’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Sean Bean will appear in the second season of epic Italy-set period drama “Medici: Masters of Florence.” Jon Cassar, executive producer and director of “24: Legacy” and “24: Live Another Day,” has also come on board the new season.

Cassar will direct and produce four of the eight episodes of the new “Medici,” whose first season starred Dustin Hoffman and was a runaway hit for RAI 1 in Italy, notably with younger viewers. Frank Spotnitz returns and will executive produce the series.

Bean will play poker-faced scheming aristocrat Jacopo Pazzi in the new run, which will likely be called “Medici: Lorenzo the Magnificent.” It will be co-produced by Italy’s Lux Vide, public broadcaster RAI, and Frank Spotnitz’s company Big Light.

Lux Vide is one of a handful of Italy-based producers coming to international attention with big English-language productions. The second season of “Medici” has a €24 million ($27 million) budget, placing it firmly in the ranks of high-end TV drama.

The show is set in 15th-century Florence and follows the Medici banking dynasty. In the first season, Hoffman played the family patriarch and Richard Madden his son Cosimo. The new series is set 20 years later, with the producers currently in talks with Madden to have him appear in flashback sequences.

Netherlands-based cable and telecoms group Altice is moving into streaming and original programming, and its Altice Studio is also a co-production partner on “Medici.” Altice’s SFR Play streaming service will carry the show in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

Netflix has rights to the new season of “Medici” in the U.S., U.K., Canada, India, and Taiwan, where it will be billed as a “Netflix Original.” Telefonica has bought it for its Movistar Plus pay service in Spain.

Shooting starts in August across locations in Italy, and will wrap by year’s end for a 2018 launch on RAI and the other platforms. Wild Bunch handled sales of the first season as it moved into TV distribution; buyers included Hulu Japan, Sky Deutschland, and Fox Latin America. The distributor for Season 2 has not been confirmed.

Lux Vide, based in Rome, is now looking to attract British and American partners as it continues to work up a slate of projects for the global market and to expand internationally. Upcoming series include “Devils,” a 10-part drama set in the world of high finance during the global financial crisis.

“Now you have global television,” said Lux Vide chief Luca Bernabei. “You’re not competing just with people in Europe, you’re competing with the U.S. and the rest of the world, and the level of investment being made is completely different. You have to make shows that are bigger than before but there is still a need for producers who can develop scripts and new ideas for the market.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • netflix latest section

    Netflix Adds Upcoming Titles Section to Its TV App (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix is making it easier to keep track of all of its new releases: The company is adding a new “Latest” section to its TV app that includes both listings of newly released titles, as well as movies and TV show seasons that will be released this week and the week after. Upcoming titles are [...]

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    Chinese Streamer iQIYI Squeezed by Changing Content Context

    Chinese video streaming giant iQIYI saw its losses deepen, in the April to June second quarter of its financial year. The company grew subscriptions, but was hit by rising content costs and lower advertising revenue Its parent company, Chinese search leader, Baidu saw its year on year profits drop, though it recovered from loss in [...]

  • westworld awakening art

    HBO Launches 'Westworld Awakening' VR Game With Survios

    Ever wanted to enter the world of “Westworld?” Now you can — except it won’t exactly be like you might have imagined it. Instead of being one of those guests living out their fantasies, you will be a host, slowly coming to grips with your life being an elaborate illusion. “Westworld Awakening” has been produced [...]

  • Spotify Announces Upgrades to Family Plan,

    Spotify Announces Upgrades to Family Plan, at No Charge in U.S. and U.K.

    Just days after reports emerged that Spotify is aiming to increase the price of its family plan in its home market of Scandinavia, the streaming giant announced an upgrade to the plan — with no price increase in the U.S. and U.K., where it remains at $14.99 and £15, respectively. A rep for the company [...]

  • Mike Vaughan

    Former Venmo COO Mike Vaughan Joins Stem's Board

    Los Angeles-based music distribution and payments startup Stem has appointed former Venmo executive Mike Vaughan to its board of directors. Vaughan was chief operating officer of Venmo from 2011 until earlier this year, and is now executive in residence at Oak HC/FT. “The music industry can benefit tremendously from innovation in the way money flows [...]

  • Streamy Awards

    Streamy Awards 2019 Return to YouTube for Exclusive Live-Stream

    The 9th Annual Streamy Awards will again be available to stream live on YouTube exclusively. The 2019 awards ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on Friday, Dec. 13 and will stream live globally on YouTube via youtube.com/streamys. Videos from the 2018 Streamy Awards received over 6.9 million views on YouTube. [...]

  • Stefan Heinrich Henriquez - Cameo

    Celeb Video-Shoutout Startup Cameo Hires Ex-TikTok Exec Stefan Heinrich Henriquez

    Cameo, a startup that lets consumers purchase video shoutouts from celebrities, tapped Stefan Heinrich Henriquez as chief marketing officer and general manager of international. Heinrich, most recently head of marketing for short-form video app TikTok, will lead the company’s global growth and branding and play a key role in Cameo’s continued global expansion. He’s based [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content