Matthias Schoenaerts to Play Django in 'Gomorrah' Team's Spaghetti Western Reboot for Sky/Canal+

Matthias Schoenaerts
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Matthias Schoenaerts

Loosely based on Sergio Corbucci's 1966 feature film and set in the Wild West of the 1860s and 1870s, the 10-part series comes from Italian producers Cattleya and French banner Atlantique Productions.

Matthias Schoenaerts is set to don his stetson in the title role in Django, a "high-concept reimagining" of the classic Spaghetti Western to be produced as a 10-part TV series for European TV giants Sky and Canal+

Loosely based on Sergio Corbucci's 1966 feature film (which earned a reputation as one of the most violent films ever made at the time), the show is being produced by ITV Studios' Italian TV hitmasters Cattleya, behind the Gomorrah series and the recent mafia drama ZeroZeroZero, and award-winning French banner Atlantique Productions (Midnight Sun, The Eddy), part of Mediawan.

Set in the Wild West of the 1860s and 1870s, Django follows Sarah and John, who believe they have founded New Babylon, a city of outcasts, full of men and women of all backgrounds, races and creeds, that welcomes everyone with open arms.

However, haunted by the murder of his family eight years earlier, Django is still looking for his daughter, believing she may have survived the killing. He is shocked to find her in New Babylon, about to marry John. Now a grown woman, Sarah wants Django to leave, as she fears he will put New Babylon in jeopardy if he stays. But thinking the city is in danger, Django adamant that he will not lose his daughter twice.

The first episodes will be directed by Francesca Comencini (Gomorrah), who will also be the series’ artistic director. Django was created and written by Leonardo Fasoli (Gomorrah, ZeroZeroZero) and Maddalena Ravagli (Gomorrah), who, together, also co-wrote the series treatment with Francesco Cenni and Michele Pellegrini, with two episodes written by Max Hurwitz (ZeroZeroZero, Manhunt). Production is due to kick on in May 2021.

"I was extremely attracted to this project as it features extremely strong female characters and delivers a thought-provoking reappraisal of masculinity in the Western genre," said Comencini. "It’s a universal story with a narrative that celebrates diversity and minorities. I am certain Django will intrigue and captivate global viewers."

The series’ executive producers include Riccardo Tozzi for Cattleya and Olivier Bibas for Atlantique Productions. Django was commissioned by Nicola Maccanico, executive Vice President of programming Sky Italia, alongside Nils Hartmann and Sonia Rovai who also executive produce for Sky Studios, and was also commissioned for Canal+ by Arielle Saracco, head of Canal+ création originale, and Fabrice de la Patellière, head of Canal+ drama.

A Canal+ Création Originale and Sky Original, Django will be broadcast on the Canal+ channels in France, Benelux and Africa and on Sky’s services in Italy, the U.K., Ireland, Austria and Germany. StudioCanal has worldwide distribution rights.