EXCLUSIVE: The fifth season of Italian crime hit Gomorrah is due to shoot at the end of the summer, we can reveal. But that could be the last we see of the mob epic, according to the show’s producer Cattleya.
“We expect to start Gomorrah between July and September,” Cattleya President Riccardo Tozzi has told us.
Marco D’Amore, who plays iconic character Ciro Di Marzio in the drama, will return to direct the first five episodes with series regular Claudio Cupellini also helming.
The scripts are currently in advanced development and “there will be a lot to prepare,” admits Tozzi due to the production challenges posed by coronavirus. As usual, the plan is for one episode of the Sky-backed show to shoot outside of Italy.
“I think it will be great,” said Tozzi about the new series. “Each time, we’ve tried to do something different. We’ve found another special angle for season five. It’s crepuscular, dark and emotional.”
But despite continued critical and ratings success, this could be the final outing for the series, Tozzi discloses.
“At the moment, we feel like this is the last season. You never know. But at the moment, we think of it as the last season.”
The veteran Italian producer expressed confidence that there will soon be a resolution to the show’s long-running distribution trouble in the U.S. The series got bogged down in the TWC library morass and has not aired stateside past series 2, despite Cattleya and seller Beta’s best efforts to prize it free. “I’m confident we will find a solution soon in the US.,” Tozzi claims.
Beta is also selling L’Immortale, the recent Cattleya-produced movie spinoff of Gomorrah, about the life of mob assassin Di Marzio. “You need to see it to fully appreciate the fifth series,” says Tozzi. “It’s a bridge between the fourth and fifth series and there is a big surprise involved.”
Gomorrah, an Italian cross between The Godfather and The Sopranos, charts the bloody feuds between rival mafia clans in southern Italy. The drama, starring Salvatore Esposito, D’Amore and Cristiana Dell’Anna, has been sold in 190 countries worldwide.
ITV-backed Cattleya is one of Italy’s most successful scripted firms. Tozzi is hopeful the company can get back into production at the end of June or early July but significant hurdles remain, despite some non-scripted programs returning to work. Italy has recorded the second-highest number of deaths in Europe from COVID-19 and the country remains under restrictions. Production protocols are currently being thrashed out.
“We are moving towards preparation with the idea of shooting at the end of June or beginning of July. It’s technically impossible to start production now. Actors must be tested at least once a week and those tests are not available in such high quantity. The second major issue is that there’s no insurance. New Italian independent productions cannot get underway, though that might be slightly different on a larger studio project. In the next couple of months we expect tests to become more readily available. The government has also proposed an improvement to the tax credit which could help offset the insurance challenge.”
Tozzi says the company’s first production out of the gate could be the second season of Netflix hit Summertime, if it is green-lit. “Our first production could be a second season of Summertime if Netflix orders it again. The first season was a success. I’m pretty sure we will make a sequel. We are ready. But it depends on Netflix. We would have to shoot in the summer, as the title suggests.”
Later in the year, Cattleya will also go into production on the Italian remake of hit U.S. series This Is Us. Rai is behind the Italian update of the NBC smash, which currently has the working title Noi.
The company remains in production on the third season of Netflix crime series Suburra, which was interrupted by the pandemic, and is weighing up a second season of Andrea Riseborough narco-trafficking drama ZeroZeroZero.
“I’m not sure whether there will be a second season,” Tozzi explains. “We have been asked about doing a second season so we’re thinking about potential ideas. Perhaps we will, if we can come up with a good concept.”
Tozzi is a Venice Film Festival regular and last year debuted the first season of ZeroZeroZero on the Lido. He is optimistic the festival can still go ahead, despite obvious challenges.
“I think Venice will happen,” he predicts. “[Artistic director] Alberto Barbera is very creative. And [Biennale President] Roberto Cicutto is very much in favour of it happening.”