Lucky Red tells Andreotti tale

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Paolo Sorrentino's controversial on-again, off-again drama about Italian political power broker Giulio Andreotti will be released in May, said Lucky Red, which will distribute the film in Italy.

The film — whose title, "Il Divo," was announced Friday — attracted attention when Sorrentino said in May that he was making the film with the blessing of the 88-year-old Andreotti, a notoriously secretive figure who was Italy's prime minister seven times and is alleged to have ties to the Sicilian Mafia. The future of the film was cast in doubt when Andreotti said he was unaware of the plans and that he would not cooperate.

But the announcement from Lucky Red pushed aside all doubt about the status of the project, which will star Toni Servillo, who notched a David di Donatello win for his role in Sorrentino's "Consequences of Love" in 2004. Servillo is 40 years younger than Andreotti.

Sorrentino was nominated twice for the Festival de Cannes' top prize — first for "Consequences" and then for "Friend of the Family" last year.

Andreotti is one of the most powerful and polarizing figures of Italy's postwar period, with allegedly strong but shadowy ties to the Vatican and the Mafia. In Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather: Part III," the fictional character Don Licio Lucchesi — a pro-Church political kingpin with Mafia ties — is widely reported to have been modeled on Andreotti, the only member of the current Italian parliament elected when it was first created in 1946.
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