Rosenbaum, who was also an EP on NBC’s Chuck, is set as showrunner for the project, which will refocus the popular European pirate story with a female focus.
It is part of a push into the U.S. and international markets for Luca and Matilde Bernabei’s Italian production company, which has also set Andrew Levitas to develop series about Caravaggio and Michelangelo.
Eight-part series Sandokan is a fresh take on the 1970s series from public broadcaster Rai. It was developed by Italian writers Alessandro Sermoneta and Davide Lantieri and will lean heavily into a female perspective, as told by our heroine, Lady Marianna – a noble woman who has been kidnapped by Sandokan and his band of pirates, eventually, willingly joining their crusade and becoming one of the first female pirates of the time. Turkish actor Can Yaman is attached to star.
You can see a clip of the popular original below, which made Italian actor Kebir Bedi a huge star internationally.
Separately, artist Andrew Levitas, who directed Johnny Deppy and Bill Nighy feature film Minamata and wrote Ralph Fiennes-fronted The White Crow, is developing two new series for the company – Caravaggio and Michelangelo.
Levitas, who is known for Metalwork Installations are widely regarded as breakthrough in connecting photography, sculpture, will develop the projects for international buyers.
Father and son team Stephen Davis, who has worked on Transformers and Power Rangers, and William Davis, are also on board to help develop and produce the three series with an eye on the global content marketplace.
Principal photography will begin later this year at the Lux Vide-owned Rome studios and in South East Asia.
It marks the latest international-focused project for Lux, which recently tapped The Blacklist’s Daniel Knauf as showrunner for eight-part English-language drama The Rising.
Bernabei said, “The audience today looks to television for stories that speak of freedom and adventure, that take us to exotic and wonderful places, away from the closed perspective of the houses in which we have been forced for so long. Sandokan will offer all this and much more. It will be the story of piracy as it has never been told with themes that are as timely now as ever before. The pirates led by Sandokan are true rebels of their time, they challenge the establishment and conquer the audience imagination.”
He added, “Michelangelo and Caravaggio, on the other hand, ideally represent for us the completion of a trilogy on the great Renaissance artists that began with Leonardo. The stories of larger-than-life artists and characters that we will tell with a modern cut and language thanks to the unexpected approach of Andrew Levitas.”
Stephen Davis added, “Under Luca’s creative leadership, Lux Vide is establishing itself as a preeminent supplier of premium drama in the U.S. and abroad. How fortunate am I to be able to collaborate with him again, as well as with Scott and Andrew, to bring these great stories and great characters to life.”