Netflix has announced three new Italian originals, indicating that the streaming giant is ramping up operations in the country as it gets more traction with local subscribers.
The new Italian Netflix originals in the pipeline are: “Curon,” a genre show with supernatural elements, which is set in a Northern Italian village; a series adaptation of hit teen romance movie “Three Steps Over Heaven”; and an adaptation of a bestselling Italian novel titled “Fedeltà,” which translates as “Faithfulness,” and is about a Milanese couple in their 30s.
“Curon,” in which “a mother and her teen kids return to her mysterious hometown village in Northern Italy only to discover what lies below the surface of her past,” according to promotional materials, sees Ezio Abbate serving as head writer. Abbate was a writer on “Suburra,” which was Netflix’s first Italian original. “Curon” will be produced by Indiana Productions and marks the first Netflix deal for the Milan-based shingle, which has been expanding into TV.
“Three Steps Over Heaven” originated as a movie hit in Italy and was then adapted to stellar results in Spain. The series will be produced by ITV-owned Cattleya, the prominent Italian shingle that produced “Suburra.”
In this series, which will transpose the Italian film’s setting from Rome to a backdrop of motorbike racing on the Adriatic coast, “an undeniable attraction” will bring together two characters, Sally and Ale, “from their different worlds,” a Netflix statement said.
Netflix has just acquired the adaptation rights to “Fedeltà,” which is shortlisted for Italy’s top literary prize, the Premio Strega. No Italian producer is on board for the show yet.
Besides these three new original series, Netflix recently announced an Italian original film, “Lo Spietato,” directed by Renato De Maria and toplining local A-lister Riccardo Scamarcio as a Milanese gangster. Produced by BIBI Film and RAI Cinema, the pic will be released briefly in Italian cinemas April 8-10 and then drop globally on Netflix on April 19.
“Italy is a cradle of great storytellers and amazing talent, and our aim is to find those unique and very local voices that could resonate with TV lovers everywhere,” said Kelly Luegenbiehl, Vice President of International Original Series for Europe and Africa. “This new crop of projects are all very different and will all be shot across Italy. We’re deeply committed to the Italian creative community – and to the creative vision of the content creators we’re working with.”
Netflix also has three Italian standup comedy originals in the works. And it is also in production on the second season of “Baby,” which takes its cue from a real-life Rome teen prostitution ring.
Though the exact figure of Netflix’s Italian client base is not known, subscribers to streaming platforms in Italy have doubled over the past year, reaching roughly 5 million, the bulk of which are said to be Netflix subscribers, according to a recent study by Ernst & Young, the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported.
Other previously announced Italian Netflix originals in the pipeline are the first season of “Luna Nera,” a new original series based on an unpublished manuscript about women accused of witchcraft in 17th-century Italy, to be produced by Domenico Procacci’s Fandango, and an adaptation of Italian animated franchise the “Winx Club” into a live-action TV series.