FremantleMedia Buys Italy's Wildside

Sky, HBO, Wildside
'The Young Pope'

The Rome-based company is producing Paolo Sorrentino's upcoming drama series 'The Young Pope,' which stars Jude Law.

FremantleMedia has acquired a majority stake in Wildside, the Italian production outfit behind The Young Pope, the upcoming drama series created by Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty) and starring Jude Law.

The deal, announced on Thursday, will see FremantleMedia acquire a 62.5 percent stake in Wildside with the opportunity to take full control of the company at a later date.

Wildside is producing The Young Pope, in which Law stars as a new pontiff who shakes up the Vatican status quo, as a eight-part limited series for European pay TV networks Sky and Canal Plus and HBO. Diane Keaton, James Cromwell and Ludivine Sagnier co-star. FremantleMedia International has international sales rights for the series.

Wildside's other productions include the critically acclaimed political drama 1992, a hit for Sky Italia, and feature films such as Saverio Costanzo's Hungry Hearts starring Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher

“This is a key strategic acquisition for FremantleMedia as we continue to strengthen our primetime scripted presence,” said FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz in a statement. “Wildside is fast becoming one of Europe’s most sought after drama producers and will complement our existing primetime drama businesses in the U.S., Germany, Scandinavia, The Netherlands, Australia and the U.K.”

Wildside's management team, which includes producers Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani, and writers/directors Marco Martani, Fausto Brizzi and Costanzo will stay on to run the company following the takeover. 

Twitter: @sroxborough

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