×

Marco Bellocchio to Direct Series on Kidnapping of Former Italian Leader (EXCLUSIVE)

Italian auteur Marco Bellocchio and FremantleMedia Italy are in advanced development on a limited TV series about the 1978 kidnapping and assassination of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro by Red Brigades terrorists.

The veteran helmer, who previously recounted Moro’s still-mysterious abduction in the 2005 film “Goodmorning, Night” from the viewpoint of one of his captors, will take a different narrative approach in the series. The show is titled “Esterno, Notte” in Italian, which translates as “Exterior, Night.”

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Moro kidnapping, which ended tragically with the Christian Democrat politician’s bullet-riddled body found in the trunk of a parked car in downtown Rome. Italy reeled from the killing. 

The six one-hour episodes will reconstruct the 55 days of Moro’s imprisonment “with each episode narrating the 1978 tragedy from a different point of view,” said FremantleMedia Italy chief Lorenzo Mieli. He added that, unlike the movie, the TV series’ multiple perspectives will not include that of any of the Red Brigades terrorists.

Mieli said points of view through which Bellocchio will now delve into the Moro affair include those of Italy’s president at the time, Giovanni Leone, of Pope Paul VI, of Moro’s friends and family, and the country’s police and secret services. 

“It’s like Bellocchio’s film, but seen from the other side, through shifting perspectives,” said Mieli, who called it “a brilliant idea that is very original and emotionally powerful.”

 Bellocchio is writing a series treatment with Italian screenwriters Stefano Bises (“Gomorrah”) and Nicola Lusuardi (“1992”) and Corriere Della Sera journalist Giovanni Bianconi.

FremantleMedia is shopping the project internationally at MipTV. The plan is for Bellocchio to start shooting next year after he finishes his upcoming feature film, “The Traitor,” a biopic of Mafia boss-turned-informant Tommaso Buscetta, which is expected to go into production this summer. 

Mieli said that “Exterior, Night” is generating interest from broadcasters in Italy and in Europe but that his business model  is to close deals once the screenplay is almost completely written, just as he’s done with other high-end shows FremantleMedia Italy has produced, such as “The Young Pope” and the upcoming Elena Ferrante adaptation “My Brilliant Friend.” 

“We prefer to make the initial investment [in development] and get to the point on the creative side where we are very convinced,” he said. “Then, who is really interested will make the best offer.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Hailee SteinfeldTribeca TV Festival 2019 Presents

    Hailee Steinfeld Announces New Single Tied to Apple TV Plus' 'Dickinson'

    Actress, singer and producer Hailee Steinfeld is set to release a new single entitled “Afterlife” on Sept. 19, a track she created for her upcoming Apple TV Plus series,”Dickinson.” “This is a song I’m incredibly proud of, and I feel like after embodying this character, I have a more fearless approach to my writing,” Steinfeld [...]

  • Rachel Bloom

    Rachel Bloom Announces Pregnancy After Emmy Win

    “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom made a special announcement after winning her Emmy for best original music and lyrics — she is pregnant. Bloom announced the news backstage on Saturday at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. She joked she had planned to reveal the news on Instagram but that doing it at the Emmys was even [...]

  • EVIL is a psychological mystery that

    TV Review: 'Evil'

    In its pilot installment, CBS’s new drama “Evil” delves into that which may lie beyond the rationally explicable. And the show itself represents something almost supernatural by 2019 standards, too: A well-made hour fueled by chemistry between its leads and a strong idea of itself. On the basis of its debut outing, which screened at [...]

  • Emmy Awards Placeholder

    Creative Arts Emmys: 'Free Solo,' 'Queer Eye' Among Big Winners on Night 1 (Full List)

    “Free Solo,” “Queer Eye,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Saturday Night Live” were among the big winners Saturday after the first night of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. “Free Solo,” the National Geographic feature documentary that already claimed the Oscar earlier this year, lead the field on the [...]

  • Gary Cole, Christina Anthony, Tika Sumpter,

    'Mixed-ish' Team on Why 'All Stories About "Others" Are Necessary'

    The producers and cast of “Mixed-ish” are not out to tell a singular black and white story — but one that showcases and celebrates all shades in between. “It’s important for me across the board in all of my work to talk about ‘otherness’ and identity and real, grounded characters,” showrunner Karin Gist told Variety [...]

  • Shane Gillis

    Comedians Condemn Shane Gillis Over Slurs

    “Saturday Night Live” showrunner Lorne Michaels has yet to comment on the racist and homophobic remarks made by newly hired cast member Shane Gillis, but comedians and actors are expressing their condemnation on social media, some even asking that he be fired from the show.  Footage of Gillis’s podcast, “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast,” was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content