VARIETY – Dustin Hoffman and “Game of Thrones” alum Richard Madden have been tapped to star in an eight-part drama series chronicling the rise of Italian Renaissance political dynasty, the Medici family.
“Medici: Masters of Florence,” which is produced by Matilde and Luca Bernabei’s Lux Vide, and Frank Spotnitz’s Big Light Productions, has Madden playing enterprising son Cosimo de’ Medici and Hoffman in a pivotal role as family patriarch, Giovanni de’ Medici. The story will concentrate on the family’s ascent from simple merchants to power brokers who sparked an economic and cultural revolution. Along the way, they also accrue a long list of powerful enemies.
“The Medici came to power at a time of great social and economic inequality,” said Spotnitz. “They were great disrupters. Their banking practices led to the creation of a middle class, making them unimaginably wealthy. The Medici in turn used their vast power and resources to challenge traditional thinking, ushering in a new era of revolutionary art and science such as the world had never seen. It’s a powerful story that resonates even now.”
Spotnitz (“The X-Files”) created the series with Nicholas Meyer (“Houdini”). He is exec producing with Matilde and Luca Bernabei (“Coco Chanel”). Steven Spielberg protege Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (“Under the Dome”) will direct all eight hour-long episodes. Principal photography will begin this month on location in Rome and Florence, and includes unprecedented access to Palazzo Vecchio, the Basilica di San Lorenzo, the Duomo and other sites where the actual events occurred.
“The legacy of the Medici family is so profound that their impact on the Renaissance is immeasurable. The foundations they laid in business and culture reach into the modern world today, which gives our story great breadth and depth,” said Matilde and Luca Bernabei, Lux Vide’s Chairman and CEO, respectively. “After seven centuries, their story remains a compelling one, full of intrigue, power, art and faith. The historic and artistic heritage they left us still lives on, and we hope that it will inspire a new Renaissance in Italy, Europe and throughout the world. Because of the project’s cultural importance, we wanted to bring the best talents to the series; great writer/executive producer Frank Spotnitz and the incomparable actors Dustin Hoffman and Richard Madden.”
RAI will broadcast the series in Italy. Wild Bunch’s newly announced television division is overseeing international sales, which will launch at MIPCOM in a few weeks.
“Wild Bunch is very proud to announce the launch of its TV department with their participation as co-financier and international distributor in such a tremendous project, along with all the renown partners and the amazing talents attached to it,” said Carole Baraton, in charge of Wild Bunch TV. “We are all the happier as this series is perfectly representative of what the Wild Bunch TV editorial line is to be — to deliver a very modern-noir take on the epic of the Renaissance period.” (source)
Cinderella released on Blu-ray & DVD last week. If you haven’t picked up a copy, make sure you do! Blu-ray screencaptures of Richard from the disc menu and three bonus features have been added to the gallery. Screencaptures from the movie will be added soon!
BRANAGH THEATHRE LIVE – The first season of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company Live promises an exceptional series of plays broadcast to cinemas from London’s Garrick Theatre over the course of a year.
RADIO TIMES – Lady Chatterley’s Lover is the story that shocked a generation, sparking decades of controversy after its initial publication in 1928.
DH Lawrence’s tale of an illicit affair crossing social boundaries is making a return to our screens this weekend, with Game of Thrones star Richard Madden as groundskeeper Mellors.
It won’t, however, be dropping any jaws this time around, says Madden.
“I don’t think it can shock. From 12-years-old you can go on the internet and find anything you want so I don’t think there’s much to shock anyone anymore,” the 29-year-old says. “Hopefully this story is just going to bring a grit to these characters that is real and actually very moving, to see people struggling through life and despite all the odds trying to find beauty and hope.”
But it does go without saying that there will be scenes of a sexual nature that some people will find shocking…
“It’s not one for my mother I don’t think!” he laughs. “There’s not much nudity per say but she said, ‘Will there be noises?’ and I said, ‘There might be’, so she said, ‘Well, I’ll not watch it then.’”
For Madden, there is more to those intimate scenes than deep breaths and bared flesh. “It’s a connecting of two souls that are in lots of ways misplaced in this world. She’s misplaced in lots of ways, being part of that society and it not being right for her, and he’s misplaced in this world where he doesn’t feel like things should be the way they are.”
And much more to the relationship between Mellors and Lady Chatterley than just lust.
“You know when you’re really in love with someone and you have that great intimate relationship? It’s not just great sex or lust, it’s a real connection,” says Madden.
RADIO TIMES – Richard Madden takes on the role of gamekeeper Oliver Mellors in BBC1’s lush adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover yesterday night. The 29-year-old actor, who is best known for playing Robb Stark in hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, got into character by bedding down in a remote cottage during filming.
“I’m staying a 60-second walk from here,” he told RadioTimes.com, when we met him on set in rural Wales. “I’m not a method actor at all but I did quite like the idea of being in a cottage in the grounds of the house, which is what Mellors does. I kind of liked the isolation of that. And it’s a lovely cottage!” he added.
His rural location meant there was little socialising after the director called “cut” for the day – “I learn my lines and go to sleep!” – but the way of life suited the British star.
“I don’t like being at home when I’m shooting – I like being in different places.” (source)