Italy’s Leone Film Group has closed a deal with journalist Alan Friedman to acquire 50% of the worldwide rights to a new documentary based on his upcoming bioography of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The deal also grants Leone 50% of worldwide distribution rights to the docu as well as an option to produce a fictionalized TV series inspired by the billionaire’s larger-than-life story.
The book, entitled My Way: Berlusconi In His Own Words, is based on more than 28 hours of video interviews and hundreds of other interviews and conversations conducted over an 18-month period. “For many years, many journalists have asked me to tell them my life story,” Berlusconi said in an announcement of the book last June. “I have always refused. I agreed to cooperate with Alan Friedman because I trust him. As Steve Jobs said to his biographer, ‘I will tell you my story. You will write what you like.’ ”
Berlusconi’s life story, from cruise-ship singer to billionaire media magnate to multiple Italian prime minister, has had it all, from divorces to love affairs and political and personal scandal a-plenty.
The book is being published by Hachette Books in the U.S. in October as well as Rizzoli in Italy. Leone Film Group, run by Sergio Leone’s children Raffaela and Andrea, is one of Italy’s leading independent film distributors, with Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and John Wells’ Burnt among their recent acquisitions.