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Gabriel Byrne, Andrea Riseborough, Amazon Board Cocaine Drama ‘ZeroZeroZero’

Production has started on “ZeroZeroZero,” a drama on the international cocaine trade from the team behind hit Italian crime series “Gomorrah.” Gabriel Byrne and Andrea Riseborough will star in the show, which Amazon has picked up for the U.S.

The eight-part series, which is set to be one of the buzziest international dramas of 2019, is adapted from Roberto Saviano’s book and directed by Stefano Sollima. Saviano wrote “Gomorrah,” and Sollima directed the hit Sky series. Italy-based producer Cattleya, which is backed by ITV and produced “Gomorrah,” is making “ZeroZeroZero.”

Dane Dehaan (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”) and Harold Torres (“Sin Nombre”) have also been cast alongside Byrne (“The Usual Suspects”) and Riseborough (“The Death of Stalin”). “ZeroZeroZero” came out of the Italian arm of Sky, which has it for the U.K. and Germany. Canal+ is also on board and has the show for France and French-speaking Africa.

Besides the U.S., Amazon also has it for Prime Video in Canada, Latin America, and Spain. StudioCanal is selling the series internationally.

“ZeroZeroZero” will follow a shipment of cocaine from the Americas to Europe. It will look at the different groups of power-hungry criminals, including Mexican cartels and the Calabrian mafia, and the corrupt businessmen fighting for control of the cocaine trade.

Italy is emerging as a production hotspot for high-end TV. HBO is co-producing Italian-language series “My Brilliant Friend,” based on the novels by Elena Ferrante. Despite its Italian origins, “ZeroZeroZero” is a truly international project. It will be shot in Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Wolof, an African language. The eight-month shoot will span three continents. Filming has started in New Orleans and will then move to Mexico, Italy, and Africa.

As well as Sollima, the series is also directed by Pablo Trapero (“The Clan”) and Janus Metz (“True Detective”). Sollima said the series would shine a light on the drug trade and movement of goods in a globalized world. “We are going to do it by following a container ship and its load from its point of departure in Mexico to its final destination in Calabria, describing how the international trafficking of this special ‘commodity’ is affecting the market, the world economy and even our lives,” Sollima said. “This special good is cocaine, and its journey is our own.”

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