Netflix has announced that principal photography started in Rome this week on its first Italian original series, Suburra, about present-day ties between organized crime and politics in the Italian capital.
The first Italian production from Netflix is being produced by Cattleya, the prominent Italo shingle behind internationally exported TV series such as Sky Italia's hit Gomorrah and Romanzo Criminale.
According to Variety, the previously announced 10-episode series, touted as a captivating story that involves politics, the Vatican, the Mafia, corruption, money-laundering, drugs and prostitution, is being produced in tandem with Italian public-service broadcaster Rai.
Rai will air Suburra on one of its generalist channels in Italy after it premieres globally on Netflix next year, according to a Netflix statement.
Rai's film unit Rai Cinema and Cattleya also previously collaborated on a Suburra feature film directed by Stefano Sollima which was released last year in October via Rai Cinema's 01 Distribution in Italian theatres and scored a handsome more than $5 million dollars locally.
Netflix released the Suburra movie in the US and Latin America on its streaming service day-and-date with its Italian theatrical release.
The Suburra TV series will be directed by Michele Placido, by Andrea Molaioli and by Giuseppe Capotondi. It is written by Daniele Cesarano and Barbara Petronio with Ezio Abbate, Fabrizio Bettelli and Nicola Guaglianone.
Like the film, it is based on a novel of the same name by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini about a real scandal that emerged recently in the Italian capital. The scandal revolved around the criminal battle over Ostia, a seaside town outside of Rome which was being developed into a gambling paradise. The show, however, is a prequel set a few years prior to those events.
The characters include a corrupt member of parliament, Filippo Malgradi, also known as Number 8, who is the head of a powerful family that runs the territory, and Sebastiano, a young event organiser. There are also corrupt religious leaders and rival Mafiosi, including one known as Samurai, who heads the most feared faction in Roman organised crime.
The cast will include Francesco Acquaroli as Samurai; Alessandro Borghi as Number 8; Adamo Dionisi as Manfredi Anacleti; Giacomo Ferrara as Spadino Anacleti; Claudia Gerini as Sara Monaschi; Filippo Nigro as Amedeo Cinaglia; and Eduardo Valdarnini as Lele Marchilli.