Paolo Sorrentino abandons plans for Silvio Berlusconi biopic

29th Nov 16 | Entertainment News

Paolo Sorrentino is working on a new series of TV series The Young Pope rather than a film about Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi.

Paolo Sorrentino

Academy Award winner Paolo Sorrentino has abandoned plans to make a biopic about controversial Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi.

The director, who won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film in 2014 for his comedy drama The Great Beauty, announced he was pursuing the project in September (16).

However the success of his TV series The Young Pope and the complexities of making a movie about the media mogul turned politician have caused him to abandon the film for now.

"I wanted to write a script for a film about Berlusconi, but it is a complicated story and it is not always possible to do the film that you want to do," he told Italy's Cinecitta News. "In the meantime I'm writing the second series of The Young Pope because I love the television series."

The Young Pope stars Jude Law as a strong willed American clergyman elected to lead the Catholic Church. It successfully premiered across Europe last month (Oct16) and debuts in the U.S. in January.

Sorrentino's film about Berlusconi, provisionally titled Loro, was expected to begin filming next year ahead of a 2018 release date.

The 80-year-old, who was elected as Italy's Prime Minister three times between 1994 and 2011, was one of the country's most controversial public figures.

After creating Italy's biggest commercial TV empire he gained further prominence as the owner of soccer club A.C. Milan before moving into politics.

However he was also at the centre of a number of scandals, being found guilty of tax fraud in 2012, and was convicted following his involvement in an illegal wiretap scandal in 2013. Berlusconi was also initially sentenced to seven years in prison and handed a lifetime ban on holding political office after he was convicted of paying a teenage girl for sex in 2010. That conviction was overturned in 2014.

Sorrentino's Oscar winner The Great Beauty was in part funded by one of Berlusconi's media companies, Medusa Film, with executives at the firm announcing they would not be financing the filmmaker's new movie.

If he returns to the project, Loro would not be the director's first biopic of a controversial Italian leader. He also helmed Il Divo, a film about former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti which won the Jury Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

© Cover Media Group 2016