Some may call it heresy. Others will shrug and say, they did it with Lolita. Federico Fellini’s estate just closed an option agreement with AMBI Group principals Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi to do a “homage” film on the filmmaker’s 1960s classic La Dolce Vita which starred Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg. Considered one the best films of the era, La Dolce Vita won the Palme d’Or at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival.
The project will be financed and produced by AMBI with Italian producer Daniele Di Lorenzo through his production company LDM Productions banner. How did it happen? Through Francesca Fellini, niece of Federico Fellini and the last blood descendent of the Fellini family.
“We’ve been approached countless times and asked to consider everything from remakes and re-imaginings to prequels and sequels. We knew it would take very special producers and compelling circumstances to motivate the family to allow rights to be optioned,” she said in a statement. “Daniele, Andrea and Monika have a beautiful vision of a modern film, and considering their Italian heritage and deep appreciation and understanding of my uncle’s works, there couldn’t be a better alignment for this project.”
AMBI, in addition to financing and producing through AMBI Pictures, will oversee global distribution of the film through its international sales division, AMBI Distribution.
The classic Italian film about a photographer and his beautiful conquests will be remade in a contemporary setting. “Our vision is of a contemporary story every bit as commercial, iconic and award-worthy as the original. These are big aspirations of course, but we have to be bold if we want to match the imprint of the original film and have the utmost confidence this vision will play out beautifully. We’re thankful to the Fellini family and eager to begin collaborating with Daniele, who shares our passion and has been so amazing in bringing this to us,” said Iervolino.
The iconic comedy-drama followed a photographer/reporter Marcello Rubini (Mastroianni) over seven days and nights on his journey through Rome in a fruitless search for love and happiness. While Marcello contends with the overdose taken by his girlfriend, Emma (Yvonne Furneaux), he also pursues heiress Maddalena (Anouk Aimée) and movie star Sylvia (Ekberg), embracing a carefree approach to living. Despite his hedonistic attitude, Marcello does have moments of quiet reflection, resulting in an intriguing cinematic character study.