An English-language reimagining of the world of Sergio Corbucci’s cult 1966 spaghetti western Django, which launched the career of Italian icon Franco Nero, is slated to premiere at the Rome Film Festival in October.
The high-concept TV series, titled ‘Django’, will be available exclusively on Sky and its NOW streaming service in 2023 in all countries where Sky operates, including the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria. It is also broadcast on Canal+ in France, Switzerland, Benelux and Africa. The Rome Film Festival takes place from October 13th to 23rd.
The 10-part ‘Django’ show stars Matthias Schoenaerts (‘Rust and Bone’, ‘Bullhead’) as the legendary marksman who portrays the title character, alongside Nicholas Pinnock (‘For Life’) as John Ellis, who is described as ‘a visionary “Founder” of the city of New Babylon is described. Lisa Vicari (“Dark”) plays Django’s daughter Sarah, and Noomi Rapace (Millennium Trilogy) plays the antagonistic role of John’s powerful and ruthless enemy, Elizabeth Thurman.
In a moving homage to the Corbucci original, Nero makes a key cameo appearance.
Rounding out the cast are Jyuddah James, Benny O. Arthur and Eric Kole as John Ellis’ children, and Tom Austen as cowboy Eljiah Turner.
Set in late 18th-century Texas, the Spaghetti Western series tells the story of a gunman searching for the truth about his family’s massacre, with an interwoven narrative that celebrates diversity and minorities. Django will fight for an even greater cause.
The exhausted cowboy gunman is looking for the daughter he thought he had lost. On their trail, he stumbles upon New Babylon, a city at the bottom of a crater where all outcasts are welcome and all are equal and free. Here Django discovers that his 20-year-old daughter, Sarah, is alive and ready to marry John Ellis, the founder of New Babylon. Sarah – who blames her father for the deaths of her family, who were massacred in the war many years earlier – wants Django to go. But he refuses to give up and is doing everything in his power to get a second chance with her and become a valuable ally for Ellis as they defend New Babylon against the powerful Lady of Elmdale.
The first four episodes are directed by Francesca Comencini (“Gomorrah”), who is also the overall artistic director of the series. The remaining six episodes are directed by David Evans (“Downton Abbey”) and Enrico Maria Artale (“Romulus”). The film was shot in Romania, between Racos, Bucharest and the Danube region.
Comencini called the innovative “Django” strand in her statement from the director “a passionate homage to Westerns with the goal of speaking about our own time”.
She went on to describe Django as “a series that’s colourful, bright, and at the same time melancholy, bringing with it a sense of crisis towards everything we believed in while trying to still move forward and looking for a second chance.” in what is left of life when all our illusions are gone.”
“Django” is an Italian-French co-production created and written by Leonardo Fasoli (“Gomorrah”, “ZeroZeroZero”) and Maddalena Ravagli (“Gomorrah”), who also co-wrote the series’ treatment with Francesco Cenni and Michele Pellegrini to have. Rounding out the writing team is Max Hurwitz (“ZeroZeroZero”, “Manhunt”), who has written two television plays.
The high-end series is produced for Sky and Canal+ by Cattleya, owned by ITV Studios, and Atlantique Productions, owned by France’s Mediawan. Django is co-produced by Sky Studios and Canal+ in collaboration with Studiocanal and Odeon Fiction and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Romanian Government.