Acclaimed Italian filmmaker, Giuseppe Tornatore is set to adapt his Academy Award-winning 1988 coming-of-age feature, Cinema Paradiso, into a television series. The filmmaker will write and direct the upcoming show, which will include six episodes, Variety is reporting.
The television adaptation is being developed by prominent Rome-based producer, Marco Belardi, through his new company, Bamboo Production. The producer is currently in the U.S. with Belardi, negotiating a deal with an unspecified American streamer that will broadcast the series.
The feature version of Cinema Paradiso won a Special Jury Prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival before it was awarded with the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film the following year. The drama grossed more than $12 million at the American box upon its initial release, and has since gained cult status around the world.
Belardi shared that Tornatore is currently writing the treatment and pilot for the show. The duo plans on shooting the series imminently, and it will be ready to stream next year.
The feature follows a boy nicknamed Toto as he embarks on a lifelong love affair with the movies. The show “will be the same story of the film, but in expanded form with various different narrative strands,” Belardi said in a press statement.
Elements being weaved into the series include “the strength of a mother, the solidarity of a friend, sex as a taboo, forced relocations, eloping and marked social differences,” the producer added.
The backstories of the main characters who live in the fictional Sicilian village of Giancaldo, where Cinema Paradiso is set, in the post-World War II era are being created for the show. The series’ first season will also explore the generation’s passion for movies.
To help launch the series, Belardi said he would like to also produce a documentary about how Cinema Paradiso was created, both creatively and from a production standpoint. However, the project has not yet been greenlit.
Besides working on Cinema Paradiso‘s television adaptation, Belardi said Bamboo recently signed a multi-picture deal with Netflix. The company will produce two or three unspecified Italian original films for the streamer. The deal also comprises the acquisition of streaming rights for three other movies that Bamboo will produce.
Bamboo is also currently developing a television show for Italian public broadcaster RAI about the late Italian pop singer-songwriter and actor, Franco Califano. He’s also creating a narrative series about the Milanese mob in the 1970s for Sky, which will serve a spin-off of the Sky docuseries, La Mala. Banditi a Milano.
The producer’s also working on the show Generazione Z, which will focus on present-day neo-Nazism and Fascism. The series was written by Italian historian and author, Antonio Scurati.