“A bit of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Instead of rock we have the Vatican”. With these words Michele Placido speaks of Suburra – The series, the first entirely Italian product for Netflix (produced by Cattleya in collaboration with Rai Fiction), that will be available on the website starting October 6. The first two episodes, directed by Placido (other directors are Andrea Molaioli and Giuseppe Capotondi) were presented in the section Cinema in Giardino.

The series is a kind of prequel of the 2015 film by the same title directed by Stefano Sollima, that in turn was taken from the novel by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini. “The choice of a prequel helped us to gain distance from the film” explains Barbara Petronio, who wrote the script together with Daniele Cesarano, Ezio Abbate, Fabrizio Bettelli and Nicola Guaglianone. “We wanted younger protagonists, a stronger Roman character and the elements of a formation novel. We tried to highlight in the film is the historic appetite for power that Roman citizens have, in a city where one learns to survive. It’s a complex environment that brings to life incredible conflicts. The political reality that provided the inspiration is placed at the service of the narration. It’s a reality that scares us as citizens – she adds – but as screenwriters we can control it”. 

A nocturnal, decadent and corrupt Rome is the absolute protagonist of the series, with its criminal milieu composed of all the human social layers involved in the struggle for power, from the worst-off peripheries to the living rooms of the aristocrats, from Ostia to most secret rooms in the Vartican. A crime thriller set in Rome, portraying how the Church, the State and organized crime clash, blurring the line between legal and illegal actions in their ferocious quest for power. 

Three young men are at the center of the story: Number 8, Spadino and Lele, sharing different origins and ambitions, will be called to enter a pact in order to achieve their deepest desires. Alessandro Borghi, the ceremonial godfather of the Venice Festival, plays Number 8, after having also starred in the film. “I had to dismantle the Number 8 of the film and reconstruct him as a character with less awareness of the concept of power, since the characters in the series is younger and inexperienced, and is part of family dynamics” says Borghi. The action in the 10 episodes takes place during the 20 days of free-zone spanning from the resignation and the fall of the mayor of Rome. Each episode opens with a prologue followed by the report of how many hours precede the action.