Netflix Orders First Italian Original Series 'Suburra'

Reed Hastings Netflix - H 2015
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Reed Hastings Netflix - H 2015

The 10-episode organized crime series, set on the Roman coast, will premiere on the streaming service globally in 2017.

Suburra, a 10-episode organized crime series set on the Roman coast, will be Netflix's first Italian original series, the company said on Monday.

It will premiere globally on Netflix in 2017, the streaming video giant said.

The first Italian production from Netflix, led by CEO Reed Hastings, will be created by Cattleya, the film and TV producer behind such TV hits as Sky Italia's Gomorrah series, and Romanzo Criminale, in collaboration with Italian public service broadcaster RAI.

Netflix has also started doing French and U.K. productions as it continues to roll out its service globally. In Italy and other parts of Southern Europe, the company is launching this month.

"Suburra is a captivating story that involves politics, the Vatican, the mafia, corruption, money laundering, drugs and prostitution," Netflix said.

"The saga of Suburra starts with a feature film slated to be in theaters throughout Italy on Oct. 14," Netflix said. It will debut the film, directed by Stefano Sollima, the same day in the Americas with Italy following in May 2016.

The film, produced by Cattleya with Rai Cinema, tells the story of "a grueling battle over a seaside town outside of Rome, which is to be developed into a gambling paradise." Adds Netflix: "The story involves 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, as well as corrupt religious leaders and rival mafiosi, including the ?Samurai? (Claudio Amendola) who represents the most feared faction of Roman organized crime, all revealing an endemic system of corruption and rampant illegality on an international scale."

?"Being on Netflix means a lot to me,"? said film director 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?."

Cattleya has begun development of the series, with production planned to start in the second half of 2016. Suburra will premiere on Netflix everywhere Netflix is available. RAI will air the series after the debut on Netflix in Italy.

?"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,"? said Cattleya founder Riccardo Tozzi.

"RAI is proud to partner with Netflix, the Internet TV leader, for the production of the Suburra TV series?," said RAI? director general Antonio Campo Dall'Orto.‎ "This collaboration demonstrates our new strategic direction to innovate and compete in Italy and abroad. Television is transforming. We need to stay on the forefront and redefine our role. The Suburra series testifies to the strength of the growing Italian production industry, from cinema to fiction, and its ability to be a player at the highest international level."

?"Suburra is an enthralling story that will appeal to Netflix members in Italy and worldwide,?" said Erik Barmack, vp at Netflix. "?We are thrilled to partner with RAI and Cattleya and to be working with some of the best storytellers in Italy to deliver not only their film, but also a series that will be among the best of television.?"

Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini are authors of the novel Suburra, on which the productions are based.