The outfit is also launching global sales on the series, which has just wrapped shooting and is being touted as more “fast paced and in your face” than the first instalment, as Lisa Perrin, the company’s chief of international productions, puts it.
The first season of the lavish Sky original produced by Sky Studios, Cattleya — which is owned by ITV Studios — and show runner Matteo Rovere’s Groenlandia shingle, has now attained cult status, if not stellar ratings, in Italy. It won this year’s Silver Ribbon prize given by Italy’s critics for best Italian series made for the international market.
The second serving of “Romulus” — for which there is not yet a firm Italian launch date on Sky — has several new young Italian talents added to the mix, most notably Ludovica Nasti, who plays Lila on HBO’s “My Brilliant Friend” and also director Francesca Mazzoleni (“Punta Sacra”) who came on board to direct one of the eight episodes.
“Romulus 1” sold widely for ITV which licensed it to more than 44 territories, including to HBO Europe for the Nordics, Central Europe, and Spain, to SBS for Australia and Lionsgate Play for India, though they have yet to score a U.S. or U.K. deal.
Rovere underlined that, following what can be considered a slow burn set up, “Romulus 2” “has much more action and is more straightforward.” He called season two “a big spectacular epic narrative, albeit with a humanistic core, featuring fierce battles with women warriors, as well as protagonists who are striving for a utopian, inclusive society, and big family passions.”
Following the founding of Rome, which has become a symbol of freedom, in “Romulus 2” the city becomes the target of Titus Tatius, king of the Sabines, which leads to several battles.
Perrin pointed out that though it’s in archaic Latin — an element in common with Cattleya’s flagship show “Gomorrah,” which is entirely in a very obscure Neapolitan dialect — “you buy into the human stories, even though they are 2,000 years old, because they are about very human experiences: love, jealousy, fear, and war.”
Cattleya meanwhile has a slew of other TV projects in various stages of production, including high-end western series “Django” which has been shooting in Romania since last May and stars Matthias Schoenaerts, Nicholas Pinnock, and Noomi Rapace. Sales on “Django” are being handled by Studiocanal, which is one of the partners.
Also in Cattleya’s TV pipeline are “Noi,” the Italian remake of NBC’s cult series “This is Us,” being produced in tandem with RAI Fiction; the third season of Netflix original series “Summertime”; and the second season of female detective show “Petra,” which has done stellar ratings on Sky Italy.
In addition, Cattleya and Groenlandia are in production on Sky Original film “The Hanging Sun,” based on Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s bestselling novel “Midnight Sun” and featuring an A-list international cast comprising Alessandro Borghi (“Devils”), Jessica Brown Findlay (“Brave New World”), Charles Dance (“Game of Thrones”) and Peter Mullan (“Top of the Lake”).