×

Cocaine Trafficking Show ‘ZeroZeroZero’ Goes Into Production With ‘Gomorrah’ Director (EXCLUSIVE)

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.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Haunting of Hill House

    'Haunting of Hill House' Writers Making Horror Series 'Red Rose' for BBC

    The BBC is teaming with Michael and Paul Clarkson, the twin brother writers behind the second season of Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House,” for a new horror thriller, the U.K. pubcaster announced Thursday at the Edinburgh TV Festival. “Red Rose” is being produced for the BBC’s U.K. youth-skewing online platform BBC Three. The [...]

  • Lance Reddick Angel Has Fallen

    Lance Reddick on His 'Angel Has Fallen' Role and Yale Acting Classmate Paul Giamatti

    Lance Reddick, known for tough-cop roles on such shows as “The Wire” and “Fringe” — and as a city councilman who used to be a tough cop in “Bosch” — will play the director of the Secret Service in “Angel Has Fallen,” the third installment of the “Olympus Has Fallen” series, coming to theaters Aug. 23. [...]

  • ‘Cowboy Bebop’: Elena Satine Joins Netflix

    ‘Cowboy Bebop’: Elena Satine Joins Netflix Live-Action Series

    The “Cowboy Bebop” live-action series at Netflix is adding another player to its cast. Elena Satine, whose previous TV credits include ABC’s “Revenge” and Starz’ “Magic City,” has joined previously announced cast members John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, and Alex Hassell. Satine’s will play Julia who is described as “a sultry beauty with a voice [...]

  • Mary J. Blige

    Mary J. Blige to Produce Drug Queenpin Drama in Development at USA Network

    Mary J. Blige is attached to executive produce a drama series in development at USA Network, Variety has learned. The project is titled “Philly Reign.” Inspired by the life of Thelma Wright. From suburban housewife to drug queenpin in under five years, the death of Wright’s husband left her two choices: let her family starve or [...]

  • Killing Eve Schitts Creek

    For Awards, the Divide Between U.S., Global TV Shows Is Blurred Thanks to Streaming

    Back in May, “Killing Eve” killed it at the BAFTA TV awards, winning the drama series prize as well as best actress for Jodie Comer and supporting actress for Fiona Shaw. “Killing Eve” is a phenomenal show, and deserves the accolades it has received, including a Golden Globe earlier this year for star Sandra Oh. [...]

  • AI Technology David Beckham

    How AI Tech Is Changing Dubbing, Making Stars Like David Beckham Multilingual

    David Beckham does not speak Arabic, Hindi or Mandarin. But when the soccer legend starred in a PSA for malaria awareness this spring, he effortlessly switched among these and six other languages, thanks to cutting-edge technology that could soon change how Hollywood localizes its movies and TV shows. The PSA in question was produced with technology [...]

  • The Daily Show Trevor Noah BTS

    Emmys: Celebrating the Unsung Heroes of Late Night

    They’re the names that fly by when the credits roll. But every member of the production staff on a late-night talk show is a foot soldier waging a daily battle against time and limited resources to make the show come alive. Whether the series is a freight train that runs Monday through Friday or a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content