EXCLUSIVE: Focus Features has acquired Paolo Sorrentino’s upcoming Loro for release in Italy where it will be distributed by Universal Pictures’ local outpost. The Oscar-winner’s event project stars The Great Beauty’s Toni Servillo as Silvio Berlusconi, the media mogul and erstwhile Prime Minister.
From Indigo Film, the Italian-language Loro (Them) begins production this summer. Outside of Italy, sales are handled by Pathé, which is co-producing.
Sorrentino directs from a script he co-wrote with Umberto Contarello and the story explores Berlusconi and his court, the members of which abetted his ascent to the heights of Italian business and politics. Producers are Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima and Carlotta Calori.
Loro is a reteam for Sorrentino and Servillo after the 2014 Best Foreign Language Oscar winner The Great Beauty, and 2008’s Il Divo, in which Servillo portrayed a previous Prime Minister of Italy, Giulio Andreotti.
Focus President Robert Walak says, “Given Focus’ commitment to collaborating with global filmmakers in their home countries, we’re proud to be partnered with Paolo on this unique new event project. His works combine humor and compassion like no one else’s. Loro is his distinctive vision of how one of the world’s most fascinating men redefined power for our media age.”
Sorrentino was on the Cannes Film Festival jury last month and is coming off of the fantastic HBO/Sky miniseries The Young Pope. His 2015 Youth was nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes.
Focus has a strong lineup ahead of it with such domestic releases as Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, which world-premiered in Cannes and scooped the Best Director prize; The Zookeeper’s Wife, directed by Niki Caro and starring Jessica Chastain; Colin Trevorrow’s The Book Of Henry, starring Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher and Jacob Tremblay; action thriller Atomic Blonde, directed by David Leitch and starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy; Victoria And Abdul, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria; and Darkest Hour, directed by Joe Wright and starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.