Renowned Italian producer Lorenzo Mieli has shepherded TV shows like “The Young Pope” and “My Bright Friend” and brought Luca Guadagnino’s “Bones and All” to the big screen. He is now taking his production company The Apartment to the next level by expanding its international reach.
While continuing to work with top Italian directors including Guadagnino, Paolo Sorrentino and Stefano Soliman, Mayley’s Fremantle-owned outfit is developing high-quality film and television projects involving the likes of Sofia Coppola. Angelina Jolie, Pablo Larraín, Joe Wright, Florian Zeller, and “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight.
Rome-based Mieli has secured Knight to work on two projects, both in pre-production: the Apple TV original series “Ferrari,” the biggest skit ever shot in Italy, and Pablo Larrain’s biopic of legendary opera singer Maria Callas, “Maria,” with Angelina Jolie in the titular role. Attached to play a character. The apartment also produced the Jolie-directed anti-war drama “Bloodless,” shot in Italy and now in post. And cameras are rolling in Rome on the high-profile TV series “M,” which chronicles Benito Mussolini’s rise to power, directed by Wright, who has backed Winston Churchill’s drama “Darkest Hour,” among other projects.
“There’s such a cosmopolitanism in the air,” says Mieli, becoming an Italian manufacturer with a far greater global reach in terms of creative vision and talent and industry connections. He calls his journey to transcend national borders “the opposite of Europudding,” a trade term used by transnational films.
Instead, Joe Wright, who portrays an important part of Italian history, and Mieli shepherd Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla Presley film “Priscilla,” as well as Chilean-born Larraine’s next picture about Callas, are “projects that can show a degree of cultural originality.” “It may have come from a conversation between different cultures,” Mieli said, “different languages talking to each other.”
Mieli suggests that Italian cinema saw the greatest flowering of cosmopolitanism in the 1950s, 60s and 70s and the early 80s (think Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Leone, Luchino Visconti).
“At that time, what Italian writers and producers were doing with Hollywood on the Tiber. “It was a time when Rome was at the height of its world politics,” says Mieli. That’s what I’m trying to replicate on a smaller scale.
Here is a list of the main projects that have been announced on the upcoming board of the apartment:
“Ferrari” – This big-budget Apple TV series, written by Steven Knight and inspired by the Enzo Ferrari biopic “Ferrari Rex,” is directed by Stefano Sollima (“Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” “Without Remorse” and “Gomorrah.” TV. Show). The show focuses on a pivotal moment for a man who dedicated his life to building the fastest racing car in history. In the year Between 1956 and 1961, badly wounded by the death of his eldest son Dino, and what he considered a betrayal by the lead driver Juan Manuel Fangio, Ferrari rebuilt the racing team from scratch, selecting five promising motor racing stars. They had to compete among themselves to be the lead driver of the team. Before moving to Apple Fremantle, “it took two years of research, buying book rights and funding Steve’s work,” Mieli said: “investing and financing, sometimes partially, in some cases fully, some of the most expensive developments.” In the year International talent casting is underway, with plans to begin shooting “Ferrari” in early summer 2023 by early fall 2024.
“Priscilla” – Mieli first adapted the Edith Wharton novel “The Custom of the Country” with Sofia Coppola into a series she is developing at A-24. “They contacted me because I have done a lot of international collaborations,” he said. That relationship led Miley to “Priscilla,” based on the book “Elvis and Me” by Priscilla Presley. The film, starring Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi, is currently filming in Toronto and “the dailies look great,” he says. “It’s a similar production structure to ‘Bones and All,'” says Mieli, who installed the product. The production will be financed by The Apartment and Sony Stage 6 Films. A-24 will be released in the US. Coppola brought in her producer Yuri Henley, who was working on the film with her in Toronto. They have a few weeks of shooting left.
“Maria“-Mieli is producing “Maria,” about the life of American-born Greek soprano Maria Callas, written by Steven Knight, directed by Pablo Larraín and starring Angelina Jolie. “Maria” completes Larraín’s trilogy of female biopics after “Jackie” and “Spencer.” Mieli from Jonas He is also collaborating with Dornbach on Compliment Films (which also produced Spencer).
“My input is as a creative producer, which is what I’m most passionate about: cultivating form and content, as well as collaborating on production methods,” he says. The plan is to shoot in 2023.
“without blood” – This Angelina Jolie-directed drama, based on the novel by Italian writer Alessandro Barrico and starring Salma Hayek Pinot and Damian Bichir, is currently slated for release in 2023.
“m” – Joe Wright directs this Sky TV series from Antonio Scurati’s best-selling novel “M. Son of the Century” about the rise of Benito Mussolini with Luca Marinelli in the lead role. “Visually, it’s a mix between the original ‘Scarface’ and [the 1929 film] ‘The film camera with a man’ by Dziga Vertov and British ’90s rave culture,” says Mieli, whose score is being produced by Chemical Brothers.
“The Baron in the Trees.” – After years of searching, Mieli secured the rights to Italo Calvino’s classic 1957 novel about a young baron who climbs a tree and hangs on for life after a bitter argument with his father. “The image I associate most with this story is not the boy in the tree; but the adult who lives in a tree his whole life,” he says. “A man who keeps his promises; the strength of his disobedience,” the producer explained. “This story has too many elements that could be expanded into a series, a movie that could never be made, so the plan is to turn the novel into a TV series. Mieli is still looking for the right director for this project.”
“The Lehman Trilogy” – Mieli and Domenico Procacci are developing the hit TV series Fandango in the Tony Award-winning play directed by Florian Zeller (“Father, “Son”). “Zeller saw the Sam Mendes adaptation and loved it,” says Mieli, adding, “Florian has gone from theater to film very well, and now he’s producing a theater piece for a TV series.” Zeller is currently writing screenplays. “I’m very happy that he’s doing this, he’s another European in America now,” Mieli said.