In a watershed deal for the Italian television industry, two production companies have inked a development and production pact to turn the spaghetti western “Django” and the Dario Argento-directed occult horror film “Suspiria” into international TV series.
French television producer Atlantique Productions and top Italian indie production company Cattleya will first re-imagine Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 western — which of course spawned Quentin Tarantino’s own homage, the slave revenge western “Django Unchained,” along with a bevy of sequels and spinoffs— “with the grit and edginess of modern television dramas,” per a press release.
The overseas producers will then jump into the “smart horror” parade with “Suspiria De Profundis,” from the 19th century Thomas De Quincey novel that influenced Dario Argento’s stylish, seminal 1977 giallo horror. Though directors, showrunners and casts have yet to be unveiled, Argento will serve as the series’ artistic supervisor. Set in fin de siècle London and Rome, “Suspiria De Profundis” will be an English-language period horror series — a la cable’s most prestigious example, “Penny Dreadful” — with De Quincey as a kind of “Sherlock Holmes” meta lead character.
This isn’t the first time someone has taken a crack at remaking “Suspiria.” Austin indie David Gordon Green most infamously tried to resurrect the film, but in a 2013 interview with TOH! said: “It’s just not the right time for that movie to exist. It’s a classy, elegant horror movie and people want to see things that are a little more raw, like found footage. Nobody’s really begging for something that’s elegant, classy and expensive.”
Not the right time for that movie to exist, maybe. But a series? Yes.
Both “Django” and “Suspiria” will be 12 50-minute episodes with storylines expected to unfold over multiple seasons. The series will be shopped to broadcasters at next week’s Mip TV market in Cannes. Atlantique Productions’ Olivier Bibas and creative director Patrick Nebout will executive produce with Cattleya partners Riccardo Tozzi, Giovanni Stabilini and Marco Chimenz.