ROME – London-based HanWay Films has taken international sales on Italian director Matteo Garrone’s next film “Dogman,” a revenge drama set on Rome’s crime-ridden outskirts, which Garrone’s own Archimede Films is producing with financing from Italy’s Rai Cinema and France’s Le Pacte.
“Dogman” will extend Garrone’s relationship with HanWay, the sales company founded by British producer Jeremy Thomas, following their collaboration on “Tale of Tales” and on the director’s planned “Pinocchio” project, which has now been put on hiatus.
HanWay will be selling “Dogman” globally except for Italy and France, where it will be released by Rai Cinema and Le Pacte, respectively, Garrone said.
“Dogman,” which Garrone is planning to shoot this year, is inspired by a homicide committed by a coked-out dog groomer during the late 1980s in the gangland outside Rome. The case, involving hours of torture in a dog cage, is considered among the most gruesome in Italian postwar history. Casting is still being decided.
Described by the director as “a Western in an urban and contemporary context,” the project will see Garrone return to subject matter similar to that of “Gomorrah,” his 2008 portrayal of the Neapolitan mob, which became a global arthouse hit.
“Dogman” will be set “in a [Roman] periphery where the law of the jungle prevails, honor and money are the only things that naturally mean something, and drugs and violence are the only way out,” Garrone said in a statement.
Garrone last year had announced he would next direct a live-action “Pinocchio” adaptation, for which shooting had been set to start this spring. But the project is being delayed because of difficulties in raising the substantial budget required for its special effects.
Le Pacte chief Jean Labadie revealed at a recent Rome confab on French-Italian co-productions that France’s Canal Plus paybox had passed on investing in “Pinocchio.” However, Labadie, with whom Garrone has a longstanding relationship, vowed that the adaptation of author Carlo Collodi’s classic about a wooden puppet “will be made.”