Looking to replicate the success of “Gomorrah” and “My Brilliant Friend,” a clutch of Italian TV producers is making the trek to L.A. to pitch high-end TV series based on local properties steeped in crime and history.
Top outfits such as Fabula Pictures, the makers of Italian Netflix original “Baby,” and Lux Vide, which is behind Frank Spotnitz’s “Medici” series, are set to talk up their projects during an Italian Stories Day at the Mr. C Hotel in Beverly Hill on June 25. Also heading to L.A. are 11 Marzo Film (“The Name of the Rose”), Picomedia, Compagnia Leone Cinematografica, and Jean Vigo Italia (“Life Is Beautiful”).
AMC Networks, Annapurna Pictures, Disney Plus, Filmnation and STX Entertainment are among the U.S. companies scheduled to attend.
– Fabula, which just wrapped Season 2 of the racy “Baby” (pictured), is developing Palermo-set “The Corsaro Bros.,” based on books by Sicilian journalist Salvo Toscano about two brothers with very different personalities investigating crimes in the Sicilian capital. The idea is to establish a comical dynamic between them that company chief Nicola De Angelis described as “sort of like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the ‘Lethal Weapon’ franchise.”
“What we are trying to do is revisit the Italian crime macro-genre that has been working so well…and give it new luster with a bit of a comic twist,” De Angelis said.
He added that “what makes the show stand out vis-a-vis classic [Italian] crimer is that the protagonists are not cops. One is a journalist; the other is a lawyer.” “Corsaro Bros.” is conceived as an anthology series with top talent in the lead roles, one of which will be “possibly cast in the U.S.”
– Lux is shopping “Blanca,” a Naples-set cop show in which two male police inspectors are crucially aided by a beautiful blind woman in trying to solve their cases.
– Picomedia, which is headed by producer Roberto Sessa, is looking for partners on “The Catholic School,” a thriller by Edoardo Albinati that Farrar, Straus and Giroux is publishing in the U.S. The true tale of three rich kids who tortured and raped two young women in the 1970s, exposing the dark underbelly of Italy’s Catholic bourgeoisie, won Italy’s top literary prize, the Strega award.
– Compagnia Leone Cinematografica (not to be mistaken for Leone Film Group) will be talking up a saga on Sicily’s Florio family, who during the 19th century built an economic empire on the island and became known as the merchant princes of Europe. The costume drama is based on local bestseller “The Lions of Sicily,” by Stefania Auci, to be published in the U.S. next year.
The Italian Stories Day is organized by Italian licensing association SIAE with Istituto Luce Cinecittà, Italy’s TV producers’ association APA, and Italian Film Commissions entity IFC.