Half a century after the release of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris, the back story of the controversial film is slated to be told in a new television series to be directed by Lisa Brühlmann (Killing Eve) and José Padilha(Narcos).
Being developed by Stampede Ventures in collaboration with CBS Studios, the upcoming drama, titled Tango, will examine the behind-the-scenes production and immediate aftermath of the erotic film starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider. The proposed series will be written by Jeremy Miller and Daniel Cohn.
In the early 1970s, films like Last Tango in Paris and Deep Throat were among the titles that broke new ground for the way they mainstreamed explicit sexual scenes. Last Tango was particularly controversial for an unscripted rape scene that Schneider later described as non-consensual and traumatizing. The film was also noteworthy for reviving the flagging film career of a dispirited Marlon Brando.
The new Tango series will depict Bertolucci’s persistence in wooing the down-spiraling Brando for the lead role.
In an interview with TV Insider last week Brühlmann expressed her pleasure at being selected for the directorial spot, saying “When José and Stampede approached me, I was instantly taken by the project and the chance to look closer at one of the biggest scandals of our industry’s history — despite it not being treated as such at the time. The opportunity to dive into that world, into all these fascinating characters, and especially the possibility of giving Maria Schneider a voice, is really exciting.”
In the same article, José Padilha also expressed his hope that the new Tango series would help call attention to Schneider’s plight, who suffered from mental health and addiction as a result of her experiences while Brando and Bertolucci received Oscar nominations for the high-grossing film. The actress died of cancer in 2011.