By Nick Vivarelli
September 22, 2022
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 set to launch from the Rome Film Festival in October.
The high–concept TV series, titled “Django,” will play in 2023 exclusively on Sky and its streaming service NOW in all countries where Sky operates, including the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria. It will also air on Canal+ in France, Switzerland, Benelux and Africa. Studio Canal is selling internationally elsewhere.
The Rome Film Festival runs from Oct. 13-23.
The 10-episode “Django” show stars Matthias Schoenaerts (“Rust and Bone,” “Bullhead”) as the iconic gunman who is the title character, alongside Nicholas Pinnock (“For Life”) as John Ellis, described as the “visionary founder” of the town of New Babylon. Lisa Vicari (“Dark”) plays Django’s daughter Sarah and Noomi Rapace (Millennium Trilogy) has the adversarial role of John’s powerful and ruthless enemy Elizabeth Thurman.
In a moving tribute to the Corbucci original, Nero appears in a key cameo.
Rounding out the cast are Jyuddah James, Benny O. Arthur and Eric Kole as John Ellis’s children and Tom Austen as cowboy Eljiah Turner.
The spaghetti western series set in late 1800s Texas is the story of a gunman in search of the truth about the massacre of his family with a weaved-in narrative that celebrates diversity and minorities. Django will find himself fighting for an even bigger cause.
The jaded cowboy gunman is in search of the daughter he thought he’d lost. In following her trail, he comes upon New Babylon, a town at the bottom of a crater, where all outcasts are welcome and where everyone is equal and free. Here, Django discovers that his 20-year-old daughter Sarah is alive and set to marry John Ellis, the founder of New Babylon. Sarah – who blames her father for the death of their family, massacred many years earlier while he was at war – wants Django to leave. But he refuses to give up and does everything in his power to get a second chance with her, becoming a valuable ally for Ellis, while they must defend New Babylon against the powerful Lady of Elmdale.
The first four episodes are directed by Francesca Comencini (“Gomorrah”) who also handled the show’s overall artistic supervision. The remaining six episodes are directed by David Evans (“Downton Abbey”) and Enrico Maria Artale (“Romulus”). Filming took place in Romania, between Racos, Bucharest and the Danube area.
Comencini in her directors’ statement called the innovative “Django” skein “a passionate tribute to Westerns with the goal of talking about our own times.”
She continued to describe “Django” as a “series that is colorful, bright and at the same time melancholic and that carries with it a sense of crisis towards everything we have believed in, while trying to push forward nevertheless, looking for a second chance in what remains of life once all our illusions have vanished.”
“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. Completing the writing team is Max Hurwitz (“ZeroZeroZero,” “Manhunt”), who wrote two teleplays.
The high-end series is produced for Sky and Canal+ by Cattleya, which is part of ITV Studios, and Atlantique Productions, which is part of 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.
Trailer link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAYx8lnoXSk