Silvio Berlusconi Wants Biopic, Pending Directorial Approval

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ROME – Italian media tycoon and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he wants to make a film about his life and that he just needs to find the right director, according to reports in the Italian media Tuesday.

Berlusconi’s life has certainly been colorful enough to entertain on the silver screen: born into a middle class family, he built Europe’s largest media empire and became the most transformational Italian political leader since World War II.

Along the way, Berlusconi worked as a cruise ship crooner along side Italian singing icon Tony Renis, be built a real-estate empire, became a multi-billionaire on the back of his Mediaset broadcast and cinema giant, coined the term “bunga bunga” for his signature sex parties, had a highly public affair with an 17-year-old cabaret dancer called Ruby The Heart Stealer, and became known for headline-grabbing comments like comparing himself to Jesus Christ, saying the only way for women to get ahead in life is to marry rich, and complimenting U.S. President Barack Obama after his election victory for looking “tanned.” He is currently under investigation in three separate legal cases.P

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Berlusconi, 75, made the announcement about his desire to make a film of his life Tuesday, the 18-year anniversary of his entry into Italian politics. He served as prime minister for only seven months back in 1995, but for the ten-year period ending last November, he was prime minister for all but 18 months.

It wouldn’t be the first film with Berlusconi as a subject. Nanni Moretti’s Il Caimano (The Caiman) from 2006, which skewered Berlusconi, appeared in competition in Cannes; Videocracy, a controversial documentary about Berlusconi’s television empire from Erik Gandini, screened at the Venice Film Festival in 2009; and Silvio Forever, another critical documentary from Roberto Faenza, made its rounds last year.

But there’s little doubt Berlusconi’s take on his story would be more flattering. Berlusconi already backed a thick biography tracking his version of his life story that was distributed free to households in 2006 called “An Italian Story.” The volume was full of praise and compliments about Berlusconi’s leadership and acumen.

Berlusconi would presumably pen the film adaptation of his life story, but there’s no word yet on who he would cast in the leading role. The more pressing concern, according to Italian media reports, is who will direct the effort: the reports say he’s currently “on the hunt” for “just the right director.”

One director who says he might be interested in making a Berlusconi film -- albeit not right away -- is well-known Italian funnyman Carlo Verdone, who bears a very vague resemblance to the Italian leader. The Italian news agency ADNKronos reported Tuesday that Verdone said he would be interested to make a Berlusconi film -- though not for ten or 20 years.

“It could only happen after enough time that Berlusconi can be a character and not someone on the front pages,” Verdone said.

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