EXCLUSIVE: Fans of Polish erotic movie 365 Days rejoice – I can reveal that Netflix is set to serve you up parts two and three of the pic that titillated viewers around the world and also sparked significant controversy when it debuted on the platform last summer.
Original cast members Michele Morrone and Anna-Maria Sieklucka (spoiler alert) will reprise their lead roles, with Magdalena Lamparska also returning. Model and actor Simone Susinna is joining the cast as new character Nacho. Barbara Białowąs and Tomasz Mandes are back on directing duties.
This time out, Laura and Massimo are reunited, but their new beginning is complicated by Massimo’s family ties and a mysterious man who enters Laura’s life to win her heart and trust at any cost.
The first film’s storyline – which saw a young Polish woman imprisoned by a Sicilian gangster who gives her one year to fall in love with him – provoked a sizeable backlash, with critics claiming the plot romanticized sexual assault and Stockholm Syndrome. There were arguments on both sides, as evidenced by the polarized opinions in the comments section below our article about the original movie.
The anti-365 Days view was popular enough to attract some 95,000 signatures to a petition for the film’s removal from Netflix, and for the singer Duffy, who has experienced a kidnapping ordeal, to pen a letter of complaint directly to Reed Hastings.
On the other hand, viewers voted with their eyeballs, and the popularity of the movie was clear. The film registered on Netflix’s daily Top 10 lists in more than 90 countries, and was the fourth most searched movie on Google globally in 2020, according to the streamer. Ultimately, data-driven platforms such as Netflix track what their viewers are watching and respond accordingly with their production choices.
The key difference this time out is that the first 365 Days was an acquisition of a completed film by Netflix, while this time the films are being made as Netflix originals (though still produced by the original producers). That means a degree of creative oversight for the streamer, so expect a more cautious approach to some of the controversial themes from the first movie.
The sequels will still be based on the book trilogy (sometimes called ‘the Polish 50 Shades of Grey’) by Polish author Blanka Lipinska, who co-wrote the first script with Mojca Tirs, and the pair return for the next two instalments alongside Tomasz Mandes. However, I understand the plot is likely to deviate from those texts and some of the potentially controversial content could be softened.
Ewa Lewandowska and Tomasz Mandes (Ekipa) will produce parts two and three alongside Maciej Kawulski (Open Mind One). Magdalena Lamparska and Otar Saralidze are also in the cast. Production starts this month in Poland before moving to Italy. The two films are shooting back to back. Release on Netflix is slated for 2022.
“365 Days was one of our most popular films for our members in 2020,” Netflix’s Łukasz Kluskiewicz, Content Acquisition Manager of films for CEE and Poland, told Deadline. “We’re working closely with Blanka Lipinska, the author of the 365 Days trilogy of books and writer of the film, to continue Laura and Massimo’s story on screen. Their journey together is full of many twists and turns as our characters continue to grow and learn more about themselves.”
“I’m hugely honoured that the remaining two parts of my 365 Days trilogy – This Day and Next 365 Days – will be brought to life on screen by Netflix,” said author Blanka Lipińska. “I’m so excited to show fans of my novels all over the world this fresh look at the characters and to continue Laura and Massimo’s story.”