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Lux Vide Sales Chief Barbara Pavone on ‘Sandokan,’ ‘Michelangelo’ ‘Caravaggio’ & Retaining IP With Streamers (EXCLUSIVE)

Barbara Pavone/Lux Vide
Courtesy Lux Vide

Italy’s Lux Vide, which has been pushing into the U.S. and international markets with high-end shows such as “Medici” and “Leonardo,” recently appointed former Warner Bros. Italy senior exec Barbara Pavone as its chief marketing and sales officer.

As part of her job Pavone, who is attending Mipcom, is dealing with Lux’s international co-productions and partnerships. Not surprisingly, one of her biggest challenges is retaining IP when she negotiates with streamers such as Netflix.

“It’s a privilege to work with global streaming platforms,” says Pavone who recently helped seal Lux’s first deal with a major streamer, details of which are being kept under wraps.

“For Lux it’s a priority to really act as a media company and retain as much as possible [of] the rights,” she notes.

But “with the streamers it’s a constant negotiation: they want them [the rights] all” Pavone adds, proudly pointing out that under the terms of the non disclosable deal Lux recently inked with a streaming giant the company managed “to keep an important portion of the rights and also maintain ownership of the IP which is really important,” she said.

Which is why the prospect of Lux being owned by distribution giant Fremantle – with which Lux has entered previously reported exclusive talks for a possible sale – could be a positive given that that the deal would give Lux broader shoulders at the negotiating table.

Pavone says her experience at Warner Bros. has taught her “to treat our shows like IPs that need to be nurtured and defended and fully exploited.” As a case in point she cites Lux’s upcoming TV series “Sandokan” for which Pavone is looking into tie-ins as a comic book, an animation project, and also as a video-game.

Below is an update on “Sandokan” and Lux’s other main international projects in various stages

“Sandokan” – This radical reboot of the cult vintage Italian TV series about the adventures of a titular pirate who, with his motley crew, fights against the colonial power of the Dutch and British empires in Southeast Asia is being developed by Lux with American producer and ex-Hasbro chief content officer Stephen J. Davis (“Transformers”) with “The Shield” executive producer Scott Rosenbaum on board as showrunner. Turkish star Can Yaman (“Daydream,” “Bitter Sweet”) is set to play the titular character though the project will refocus the pirate story to give it a stronger female perspective. Italy’s RAI is on board as the main Italian partner. Pavone is shopping “Sandokan” to prospective U.S. and international partners. 

“The Rising” — After also teaming up with with Stephen J. Davis on this English-language historical drama being described as the “human, secular story” of Jesus Christ, Lux will soon start pitching it to potential U.S. partners. Meanwhile they are working on the pilot and the bible for the series which is “one of our top priorities,” says Pavone. Daniel Knauf, the creator and showrunner of HBO’s “Carnivàle,” is attached as “The Rising’s” showrunner.

“Michelangelo,” “Caravaggio” – After “Leonardo,” Lux is in “very early stages” on two series on these other Renaissance geniuses with U.S. multi-hyphenate Andrew Levitas, who directed “Minamata.” set as showrunner for both.