ROME – Long gestating high-end Italian TV series “ZeroZeroZero,” based on a chronicle of the global cocaine trade by bestselling author Roberto Saviano, is moving into production with “Gomorrah” director Stefano Sollima attached as director and showrunner. The series is co-financed by payboxes Sky Italia and Canal Plus.
Shooting on the eight-episode skein, which follows a shipment of cocaine from the Americas to Europe, is set to start in March 2018 with cameras rolling in Mexico, Louisiana, Central Africa, Spain, Italy and London. An entire episode will probably be set in the British capital, according to Sky Italia chief of content Andrea Scrosati. The show will be in English, Spanish, and Italian in roughly equal proportions.
Casting details are still being kept under wraps. Top Italian indie film and TV production shingle Cattleya is producing for Murdoch-controlled Sky and Canal Plus, which is owned by France’s Vivendi.
Scrosati said that though there have been several shows for the international market involving drug trafficking, “nobody has told the story of how shipments of tons of cocaine go through the ocean and then actually arrive in Europe.”
“This happens through a broken system that actually has people sitting in an office wearing suits and ties basically moving around containers full of cocaine, as if they were moving around containers full of microwave ovens,” he said, adding that Sollima would bring to the show “his action-adrenaline type of approach.”
Sollima (pictured) recently wrapped Lionsgate’s Mexican drug-trafficking movie “Soldado,” toplining Benicio Del Toro, a follow-up to Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 hit film “Sicario.” The Italian genre specialist previously served as showrunner and lead director on Sky Italia’s hit TV series “Gomorrah,” which sold to some 190 territories and aired on SundanceTV in the U.S.
For “ZeroZeroZero,” Cattleya has reunited Sollima with some members of his “Gomorrah” writing team, including author Saviano, Leonardo Fasoli and Mauricio Katz. Saviano wrote both “Gomorrah,” the bestseller about the Neapolitan mob which Matteo Garrone made into a movie prior to the Sky TV adaptation, and the “ZeroZeroZero” book, which did not do as well.