Paolo Sorrentino To Helm ‘The Hand Of God’ For Netflix

Oscar-winning Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino has been set to write and direct The Hand Of God for Netflix.

The Youth and The Great Beauty filmmaker most recently helmed HBO series The New Pope and Silvio Berlusconi biopic Loro.

His latest pic will be produced by Lorenzo Mieli for The Apartment Pictures, a Fremantle company, with Sorrentino.

Plot details have not been released yet but it is based on an original idea by the director and the team are promising “a personal film” taking Sorrentino back to his hometown of Naples, where it will shoot. His debut feature, 2001’s One Man Up, was filmed in the southern Italian city.

The ‘hand of god’ is commonly associated in Europe with Argentine soccer play Diego Maradona, who used it to describe his goal against England at the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Maradona had a famous spell as the star of the Napoli soccer team in the 1980s and is still an icon in the city. Sadly (for us soccer) fans, I’ve asked Netflix and it sounds like it won’t be sports related, but Maradona remains emblematic of the iconic 80s period in the city, when Sorrentino was growing up there.

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“I’m excited at the idea of filming in Naples again exactly twenty years after my first film. The Hand Of God represents for the first time in my career an intimate and personal film, a novel of formation at once light-hearted and painful. I’m delighted to partake in this adventure with producer Lorenzo Mieli, his company The Apartment and Netflix. The mutual understanding between myself and Teresa Moneo, David Kosse and Scott Stuber from Netflix on the meaning of the film was immediate and dazzling. They made me feel at home, an ideal condition, because this is precisely what this film means to me: going back home,” says Paolo Sorrentino.

David Kosse, Vice President, International Original Film at Netflix added, “I’ve always been a huge fan of Paolo Sorrentino so as soon as we were presented with The Hand of God, we knew that we wanted to partner with him and Lorenzo on this project. It’s an honour to work with one of the greatest filmmakers in Europe and to bring his incredible story to the world.”

“Paolo is an incredible storyteller who has cemented his place on the world cinema stage. The Hand Of God is a personal film that is taking him back to Naples, his hometown, and is a beautifully written story in his signature style,” said Scott Stuber, Head of Netflix Films. “To build a great film studio you need great filmmakers from every part of the world, telling stories in all languages. With the majority of our membership outside of the U.S., under David’s leadership, we’ve been growing our international film business over the past year and look forward to bringing Paolo’s story and so many others to a global audience.”

Lorenzo Mieli, CEO of The Apartment, added “It’s always a real pleasure to work with Paolo, and this time I’m happier than ever to be producing a film with him. Whenever we embark on a new project together, I’m always surprised by Paolo’s ability to reshuffle the cards and approach things from a new angle. His ability to look steadfastly ahead has enabled us to forge the perfect partnership with Netflix – the undisputed protagonists of innovation – so we can embark on this exciting new journey together.”

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