Luca Zingaretti Starring in Sky Original The King


Sky Italia has ordered as an original production Il Re (The King), which is being billed as the first Italian prison drama.

Lorenzo Mieli and The Apartment, together with Wildside will be producing the eight-episode series, directed by Giuseppe Gagliardi (1992, 1993, 1994, Non Uccidere/Don’t Kill). It is set in San Michele prison, where director Bruno Testori applies his own personal idea of justice, a fourth-degree of judgment, above the laws of the courts or of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure. Luca Zingaretti stars in the leading role.

The screenplay of The King is written by Stefano Bises, Peppe Fiore, Bernardo Pellegrini and Davide Serino. Shooting will begin between the end of this year and the start of 2021 and will take place in Rome, Turin, and Trieste. The international distributor of The King is Fremantle.

Zingaretti said: “Bruno Testori is a sullen, majestic, perverse, and controversial character, a king. Playing him is a challenge that I immediately accepted and which I find enthralling, seeing how he continues to develop page after page.”

Nicola Maccanico, executive VP of programming for Sky Italia, said: “Luca Zingaretti, one of the most popular and well-loved actors in Italy, joins the world of Sky, in a dark role that is nothing like anything he has ever done before, the protagonist of a story that is perfectly set in the present and in its complexity. This is probably the best way to describe not only the direction that we’ve taken with our series work, but also the way we wish to expand the horizon of our ‘originals’ and, more generally, the identity, or narrative strength, that we want for our stories. So we are very happy to have Luca with us, especially in such an unexpected role, having enthusiastically embraced this enormous challenge which we feel so passionate about. And we are thrilled to be collaborating on a new and stimulating project with The Apartment and Wildside. The King will be another great drama with Sky’s name on it, a powerful story that brings together profound realism and some of the biggest contradictions and fears of our time, potentially becoming a new point of reference in the evolution of television narratives.”

Mieli, CEO of The Apartment, said: “Bringing to life a new series and a new character is always important. Doing it with Luca Zingaretti as the protagonist is a truly significant step in the landscape of Italian TV series. It took years of working with Luca and the writers to finally get to where we are today, to The King. And now we are so happy to be bringing to life the first Italian prison drama and its protagonist: the controversial director of a prison where none of the country’s laws have any value, because good and bad depend on his judgment. A man who is seemingly strong, but who is actually possessed by an onerous dark side. The King is a challenge and, like all good series and original characters, its objective is to astonish and shock its audience.”