A first still of Italian director Matteo Garrone’s new film “Dogman” has been released by his production company, Archimede Films.
Dubbed an “urban Western,” the pic 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.
“Dogman” marks a return to naturalistic Italian filmmaking — in a similar vein to his mob-themed “Gomorrah”— for Garrone, following his English-language fantasy “Tale of Tales,” starring Salma Hayek.
According to promotional materials, “Dogman” takes place in an Italian suburb “somewhere between metropolis and wild nature.” A small and gentle dog groomer named Marcello, played by Italian actor Marcello Fonte (pictured) finds himself involved in a dangerous “relationship of intimidation” with a former violent boxer who bullies the entire neighborhood. In an effort to reaffirm his dignity, Marcello will exact an unexpected act of vengeance.
“It might seem like a revenge film, but I think that Dogman is also a film about the desperate need for dignity in a world where the law of the strongest prevails and violence seems to be the only way out,” Garrone said in a statement.
Italy’s Rai Com is handling international sales for most territories on “Dogman,” which is now in post.
Archimede Films is producing with financing from Rai Cinema and France’s Le Pacte. The producers are Garrone and Le Pact chief Jean Labadie. HanWay, the company founded by British producer Jeremy Thomas, will distribute the film in the UK, while Rai Cinema’s 01 Distribution will release it in Italy and Le Pacte in France.