CANAL+ Création Originale and Sky Original TV series Django to revisit the western genre, produced by Atlantique productions and Cattleya, starring Matthias Schoenaerts

Thursday 18 February 2021

Production to start May 2021

A high-concept reimagining of the classic Western Django (loosely based on the Sergio Corbucci feature film) is to be produced as a 10 x 1 hour TV series.

Award-winning actor Matthias Schoenaerts (The Danish Girl, The Mustang, Bullhead, Rust and Bone) will star in the title role, Django.

The Series will be produced in English by Cattleya (ZeroZeroZero, Gomorrah the Series), Italy’s leading independent film and TV drama producer and part of ITV Studios, and by Atlantique Productions (Midnight Sun, The Eddy), the award-winning French production company and part of Mediawan, for Sky and CANAL+. The series’ 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 also Executive Produce for Sky Studios, and was also commissioned for CANAL+ by Arielle Saracco, Head of CANAL+ Création Originale, and Fabrice de la Patellière, Head of CANAL+ Drama.

A CANAL+ Création Originale and Sky Original, Django will be broadcast on the CANAL+ channels in France, Benelux and Africa and on Sky’s services in Italy, the UK, Ireland, Austria and Germany. STUDIOCANAL has worldwide distribution rights.

The first episodes will be directed by Francesca Comencini (Gomorrah the Series), who will also be the series’ artistic director. Django was created and written by Leonardo Fasoli (Gomorrah the Series, ZeroZeroZero) and Maddalena Ravagli (Gomorrah the Series), who, together, also co-wrote the series treatment with Francesco Cenni and Michele Pellegrini, with two episodes written by Max Hurwitz (ZeroZeroZero, Manhunt).

The highly-ambitious series offers a fresh new take on the Western genre with a contemporary and psychological twist.

Francesca Comencini says, “I was extremely attracted to this project as it features extremely strong female characters and delivers a thought-provoking reappraisal of masculinity in the Western genre. It’s a universal story with a narrative that celebrates diversity and minorities. I am certain Django will intrigue and captivate global viewers.”

We are proud to announce a new ambitious project, Django,” - said Nicola Maccanico, EVP Programming Sky Italia, “It fits perfectly with Sky Studios' mission to develop and produce the best original content in Europe and that, once again, confirms our restless ambition to use storytelling to explore and break new ground through our Sky Originals. 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. We are excited to partner again with Francesca Comencini, Leonardo Fasoli and Maddalena Ravagli, a truly outstanding creative team that brought us the hugely-popular and critically acclaimed Sky Originals Gomorrah The Series and ZeroZeroZero. Together with CANAL+, Cattleya and Atlantique, we can’t wait to bring this story to life for Sky customers across Europe.

Fabrice de la Patellière, Head of CANAL+ Drama, adds, “We are hugely excited to launch the production of Django. We share with the series’ creators, producers and partners the willingness to offer an original and European version of the Western – a mythical and very popular genre. With such an exceptional series, CANAL+ Création Originale is continuing its ambition to be a leading player in European co-production. Leonardo Fasoli and Maddalena Ravagli have written powerful scripts. Skilled producers Riccardo Tozzi and Olivier Bibas have built an outstanding artistic team around the very talented Francesca Comencini. We wish them all good luck and success for this fantastic adventure.

Anne Chérel, EVP Global Sales and Distribution along with Beatriz Campos, SVP Global Sales and Production Financing, TV Series at STUDIOCANAL comment,With such an acclaimed writing, production and directing line-up, we fell in love with Django immediately because of the unique angle brought to a very traditional genre. By highlighting modern themes within a classic Western, the creators will reimagine the genre and explore complex narratives with strong female characters . It was clear to us that with such powerful and diverse characters, Django is a compelling story which will resonate with audiences from around the world.

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. 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.

For further information, please contact:

Sky Studios
Harrison Kelly / harrison.kelly@sky.uk 
Isabella Ferilli / isabella.ferilli@skytv.it

CANAL+
Delphine Huchet / delphine.huchet@canal-plus.com

Atlantique productions
Françoise Dessaigne / fdessaigne@mediawan.eu
Virginie Lafleur / vlafleur@mediawan.eu

Cattleya
Giada Giannecchini / giada@cattleya.it

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 24 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.

Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love - TV, music, games, online video, fitness and educational content, all in one place, easy. Our streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, I Hate Suzie and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, while Sky Arts, the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel, makes the arts accessible for everyone. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity and we’ve put in place a new programme to invest £30million across our markets over the next three years to tackle racial injustice.

About CANAL+ Group

CANAL+ Group is a leading media company and pay-TV operator. It is also a leading player in free-to-air television with three national channels, C8, CSTAR and CNEWS, and an ads sales agency. CANAL+ Group has a wide international footprint with a presence in Europe, Africa and Asia. CANAL+ Group totals 20.4 million subscribers worldwide, including 8.6 million in mainland France. With STUDIOCANAL, CANAL+ Group is also a European leader in the production, acquisition and distribution of feature films and TV series. CANAL+ Group is wholly-owned by worldwide integrated content, media and communication group, Vivendi.

About Sky Studios

Sky Studios brings to screen unique stories from the very best talent in Europe.

We develop, produce and fund original drama, comedy and documentary for Sky’s 24m customers and beyond. Building on the success of critically-acclaimed Sky Originals including Emmy-winning Chernobyl, Bafta-winning Patrick Melrose and international hits Das Boot, Riviera and Britannia, Sky Studios is the new creative home of Sky Originals, such as The Third Day with Jude Law, I Hate Suzie, co-created by Lucy Prebble and Billie Piper and BAFTA-nominated hit comedy, Brassic.

We’re an agile Studio, seeking out the best untold stories from new voices while working in creative partnership with today’s best writers, producers and on-screen talent to bring viewers stories they wouldn’t find anywhere else.

With commissioning talent and production capability across the UK, Germany and Italy, we understand local tastes across Europe better than anyone else and have plans to more than double our investment in original content by 2024, fully supported and backed by Comcast NBC Universal.

We’re also developing a new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, which is expected to lead to the creation of over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK creative sector in the first five years alone.

Sky Studios invests in the cultural economy and global production sector with equity stakes in several production companies in the UK and the US, including Great British Bake-Off creator Love Productions, and the premier reality crime producer in the US, Jupiter Entertainment,

creator of long-running hit Snapped. Sky Studios has invested in high quality factual specialists Blast Films and True North Productions; entertainment and format expert Znak & Co (US & UK); natural history producer True to Nature; drama producers The Lighthouse and Longboat Pictures; and growth businesses Sugar Films, Chrysalis Vision, and Talos Films (US).

Sky Studios launched in June 2019. The senior leadership team is Chief Executive Officer Gary Davey, Chief Content Officer Jane Millichip, Chief Operating Officer Caroline Cooper, Director of Drama UK Cameron Roach, Director of Comedy UK Jon Mountague, Director Original Production Sky Italia Nils Hartmann, and Director Original Productions Sky Deutschland Marcus Ammon.

About Atlantique Productions

Atlantique Productions, a Mediawan company, is a leading French producer of high-end TV series. The production company is primarily creative driven with a focus on the development, packaging and production of dramas for the local and international market. Based in Paris, Atlantique embraces collaborations with experienced talents and producers from Europe and the US.

Among Atlantique’s recent productions: The Eddy, Eden and Hierro (2 seasons). Atlantique’s major credits also include Midnight Sun and Borgia (3 seasons).

About Cattleya

Cattleya, one of Italy’s leading independent film and television producers, has made over 70 theatrical features and numerous television series. Over the last several years Cattleya has focused its slate primarily on TV drama production, developing projects for both national and international markets. Series like Gomorrah and Romanzo Criminale, applauded by the public and critics alike, have placed Cattleya among the highest echelon of European producers, allowing the company to create internationally acclaimed shows such as Suburra, ZeroZeroZero, Summertime and Romulus. In 2017, ITV Studios, the UK’s biggest production and distribution company, acquired a majority stake in Cattleya.

About STUDIOCANAL

STUDIOCANAL, a 100% affiliate of CANAL+ Group held by Vivendi, is Europe’s leader in production, distribution and international sales of feature films and TV series, operating directly in all three major European markets - France, the United Kingdom and Germany - as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

STUDIOCANAL owns one of the most important film libraries in the world, boasting nearly, 6,000 titles from 60 countries. Spanning 100 years of film history, this vast and unique

catalogue includes among others the iconicTerminator 2, Rambo, Breathless, Mulholland Drive, The Pianist and Belle de jour.

STUDIOCANAL has fully financed box office hits Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Paddington 1 and 2, The Commuter and Shaun The Sheep Movie. Upcoming films backed by STUDIOCANAL include Jojo Moyes adaptation The Last Letter from your Lover, female action thriller Gunpowder Milkshake, Gil Kenan’s live action A Boy called Christmas and Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy starrer The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.

STUDIOCANAL produces more than 200 hours of TV series each year and operates at the international level, by distributing globally its scripted productions and CANAL+ Créations Originales (1,000 hours of current and library content in distribution). STUDIOCANAL has developed a network of award-winning European production companies, including TANDEM Productions in Germany (Shadowplay), the UK’s RED Production Company (Years and Years), Spain’s BAMBÚ PRODUCCIONES (On Death Row) and France’s STUDIOCANAL ORIGINAL (Narvalo, Mouche). STUDIOCANAL is also an associate of URBAN MYTH FILMS (War of the Worlds), Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company SUNNYMARCH TV (Patrick Melrose) and Danish-based SAM Productions founded by Søren Sveistrup and Adam Price (Ride Upon The Storm).

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