Sky Studios and CANAL + to produce a western series based on Django

Sky Studios and CANAL + to produce a western series based on Django
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.
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