EXCLUSIVE: The Venice Film Festival will reveal its lineup later this week and two anticipated TV series are expected to make their debut on the Lido: cocaine-trafficking crime-drama ZeroZeroZero and Paolo Sorrentino’s Jude Law-starrer The New Pope.
There was some uncertainty over whether the show would bow this early given that it is unlikely to air until early next year (production was held up after an injury to Riseborough), but U.S. rights holder Amazon has given the green light for a Venice debut.
The Italian-origin show is likely to be among the festival’s biggest draws. The Cattleya epic for Sky, Canal+ and Amazon is adapted from Gomorrah scribe Roberto Saviano‘s book about international cocaine trafficking and its economic and political effects. It was shot in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Wolof and Arabic across Europe, U.S., Central America and Africa.
Sicario: Day Of The Soldado and Gomorrah helmer Stefano Sollima is creator and among directors on the series which will follow feuding families, Mexican cartels, the ‘Ndrangheta (the Calabrian mafia) and corrupt businessmen. The stellar lineup of directors also includes Pablo Trapero (The Clan) and Janus Metz (True Detective).
Also making its debut on the Lido, we understand, will be Paolo Sorrentino’s The New Pope. This is The Great Beauty director’s follow-up to Euro-U.S. co-pro The Young Pope, which debuted on the Lido in 2016.
Jude Law returns to the show alongside cast including John Malkovich, Stefano Accorsi, Cecile De France, Javier Camara, Ludivine Sagnier, Sharon Stone and Marilyn Manson. The series also shot in Venice so this will be a homecoming of sorts.
Written by Sorrentino with his frequent Italian co-writer Umberto Contarello and Stefano Bises, the limited series is set in the world of modern papacy. It’s a Wildside production for HBO, Sky and Canal Plus. No air date has been set.
Only two small-screen dramas have previously debuted at Venice: HBO’s Mildred Pierce and Sorrentino’s aforementioned The Young Pope. The latter went down well three years ago so it’s unsurprising that festival head Alberto Barbera has gone back to the TV well, especially with so many strong high-end shows emerging from Italy, which has seen a spike in global demand for its small-screen drama.
Barbera has done plenty in recent years to energize Venice and these two high-profile series — both from Canal Plus and Sky Italia — are likely to have the Lido abuzz. For the world’s oldest festival to show two major series (double its previous total) in one edition is certainly a sign of the times.
The move is also further indication that Barbera is not afraid to showcase the platforms. The inclusion of Netflix movies on the Lido last year caused consternation among some in the Italian and European business and it will be interesting to see whether Netflix returns to the festival this year.
The Venice lineup is revealed on Thursday. As we revealed last month, movies expected to be announced include Warner Bros’ Joker and Kristen Stewart-Jean Seberg pic Against All Enemies.
The festival and those connected to the two series were unavailable for comment.
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