The Danish Girl and Bullhead actor Matthias Schoenaerts has been cast in the title role of an ambitious Sky and Canal+ reimagining of classic Italian spaghetti western, Django.
The high-concept English-language series is loosely based on Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 feature, and is being made by Cattleya, the ITV Studios-backed company behind Gomorrah. France’s Atlantique Productions is also producing.
The story is set in the Wild West in the 1860s and 1870s. Sarah and John 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.
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.
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But Sarah, now a grown woman, wants Django to leave, as she fears he will put New Babylon in jeopardy if he stays. However, Django, believing the city is in danger, is adamant that he will not lose his daughter twice.
Django is directed by Francesca Comencini (Gomorrah), who will also be the series’ artistic director. The 10-part series was written by Gomorrah scribes Leonardo Fasoli and Maddalena Ravagli, who co-wrote the series treatment with Francesco Cenni and Michele Pellegrini. Two episodes are penned by Max Hurwitz.
Executive producers include Riccardo Tozzi for Cattleya and Olivier Bibas for Atlantique Productions. Django was commissioned by Nicola Maccanico, EVP Programming Sky Italia, alongside Nils Hartmann and Sonia Rovai who executive produce for Sky Studios. It was also commissioned by Arielle Saracco, Head of Canal+ Création Originale, and Fabrice de la Patellière, Head of Canal+ drama.
Sky will premiere the series across the UK, Italy, Ireland, Austria and Germany. Canal+ will broadcast the drama in France Benelux and Africa. Studiocanal has global distribution rights.
Maccanico said: “The Western is one of the most traditional and popular genres with Django one of the best loved films in Italy and around the world. This new series is a fresh, reimagining of the Cult classic bringing viewers a contemporary angle and narrative.”
Belgian Schoenaerts is stepping into the boots of Franco Nero in the role of Django. The original is regarded as one of the Best Films Of the Spaghetti Western genre, and it helped inspire around 30 unofficial remakes.