Italian producer Lorenzo Mieli, whose recent credits include Luca Guadagnino’s Bones And All, Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand Of God and HBO’s hit TV version of My Brilliant Friend, has unveiled plans for a limited series adaptation of Italo Calvino’s classic Italian novel The Baron In The Trees.
Published in 1957, the metaphorical and philosophical work revolves around a young baron who scales a tree after a dispute with his father and remains there for the rest of his life.
It is the second volume in writer Calvino’s fantasy trilogy The Ancestors, which also includes The Cloven Viscount and The Nonexistent Knight.
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The work won Italy’s prestigious Viareggio Prize in 1957 and it is Calvino’s best-selling work of fiction alongside his 1979 novel If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler.
Mieli announced his plans for the novel during a masterclass at the London Film Festival on Monday, which he is attending with Bones And All as well as Marco Bellocchio’s Esterno Notte.
“He is absolutely the most important Italian writer of the 20th Century,” Mieli told us ahead of his panel.
“I’ve been obsessed with his work forever and managing to get these rights for me is already an incredible achievement,” he continued, adding that he spent more than three years securing the rights.
“The Baron In The Trees is a real classic and the task of adapting it into a limited series is a very challenging and serious one for me on a creative level. I want to find a writer/filmmaker who really loves and understands Calvino and this book and can do an incredible creative job as much as Calvino did in writing it.”
To date, there has only ever been one series adaptation of Calvino’s work: Italian-language fantasy series Fantaghirò, also known as The Cave of the Golden Rose, made in the early 90s.
The Calvino project is among a growing number of adaptations on Mieli’s slate under his blue-chip Rome-based banner The Apartment Pictures, which is backed by Fremantle.
Other upcoming adaptations in the works include historical TV drama M, adapted from Antonio Scurati’s bestselling novel M. Son Of The Century about the rise of Benito Mussolini, to which Joe Wright is attached to direct.
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