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Netflix snags its first original series from Italy, Suburra

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While the critically acclaimed series, Narcos, continues to earn Netflix notoriety, the streaming-video-service-turned-production-house has announced it will offer its first original series from Italy, entitled Suburra. The series is to be produced by Itlaian TV and movie producer, Cattelya, in collaboration with Italian public service broadcaster, Rai.

Suburra, which literally translates to “slums,” will be a 10-episode crime series set on the Roman coast, and will follow the story of a battle over a seaside town outside of Rome that is set to be converted into a gambling paradise. Involved in the story is a corrupt member of Parliament, Filippo Malgradi (Pierfrancesco Favino), Number 8 (Alessandro Borghi), the head of a powerful family that runs the territory, and Sebastiano (Elio Germano), a young event organizer. And then there’s corrupt religious leaders and rival Mafiosi, including the ìSamuraiî (Claudio Amendola) who, Netflix describes, represents the most feared faction of Roman organized crime.

Related: Amazon gets streaming rights for The Good Wife writers’ new series BrainDead

Suburra,” Netflix sums up, “is a captivating story that involves politics, the Vatican, the mafia, corruption, money laundering, drugs and prostitution.”

The story is based on a book by the same name, written by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini. The pair call the novel a “journey into the black heart of Rome, uncovering and bringing to light many of the current scandals, well in advance of their making headlines in the international press, from the New York Times to the BBC to the Guardian.”

Suburra will premiere globally on Netflix in 2017, but the story will actually begin with a feature film that’s scheduled to hit Italian theatres on October 14, as well as Netflix in the Americas. Stefano Sollima directed the film, which will also hit Netflix in Italy in May 2016. Rai will air the series after its debut on Netflix in Italy.

“Being on Netflix means a lot to me,” comments Sollima. “Not only will my film be part of a selection of high-quality feature films and groundbreaking TV series of which I am a huge fan, but it will also have the opportunity to reach a wide international public. I am proud and excited that on Oct. 14, Suburra will be seen in the Americas, simultaneously with its release in Italian theatres.”

Cattleya founder Riccardo Tozzi adds: “Netflix has revolutionized how we watch television and what we watch. To partner with them is an extraordinary opportunity for Cattleya to engage audiences around the world and to contribute to further developing the medium.”

Erik Barmack, Vice President at Netflix, calls Suburra an “enthralling story that will appeal to Netflix members in Italy and worldwide.”

Production will begin in the second half of 2016, but Netflix says Cattleya has already begun development of the series.

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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