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Sky Italia is going back in history — way back to the eighth century B.C., and the creation of Rome — in its new series Romulus. Sky is producing the new 10-episode original with ITV Studio’s Cattleya and Groenlandia.
Director Matteo Rovere (Italian Race, Drifters) will serve as showrunner for the series, which will be shot in archaic Latin. His latest film, Romulus & Remus: The First King, debuted earlier this year in Italy, revealing the mythology of the two twin brothers whose turbulent story led to the founding of Rome. Michele Alhaique and Enrico Maria Artale are also slated to direct episodes.
“Romulus is a story about feelings, war, brotherhood, courage and fear. It is a great, epic fresco, a highly realistic reconstruction of the events that led to the foundation of Rome,” Rovere said in a statement. “But above all it is an investigation into the origins and the profound meaning of power in the West: a journey into an archaic and frightening world, where everything is sacred and people feel the mysterious and hostile presence of the gods everywhere.”
The story of Rome’s birth will be seen through the eyes of three main characters trying to survive in a brutal and merciless world: Lemos, Wiros and the young Vestal Virgin Ilia. The series is a story of revolution and how men and women begin to decide their own destinies. It stars emerging talents Andrea Arcangeli, Marianna Fontana and Francesco Di Napoli.
Production on Romulus will start in and around Rome in early June. The show is written by Rovere with Filippo Gravino and Guido Luculano. Other castmembers include Giovanni Buselli, Silvia Calderoni, Sergio Romano, Demetra Avincola, Massimiliano Rossi, Ivana Lotito, Gabriel Montesi and Vanessa Scalera.
Sky continues to amp up its original productions after the success of shows including Gomorrah and The Young Pope, with upcoming projects including Devils and ZeroZeroZero. Romulus may be one of its most ambitious efforts yet, complete with two meticulously reconstructed historical cities, hundreds of recreated period weapons, thousands of extras and more than 700 stunt people, all based on detailed research.
“Romulus is an epic series in the true sense of the word, an international project featuring some of the youngest and outstanding Italian talents,” said Sky Italia executive vp programming Nicola Maccanico.“[It’s] a project that has at its heart what is perhaps the most recognizable brand of our country, Rome, which is once again set to attract worldwide attention with a great story to tell — that of the founding of the Eternal City and its myth — raw, realistic, powerful. Our history, the most proudly local of all.”
The series will debut in Italy exclusively on Sky. ITV Studios Global Entertainment will handle international sales.
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