Ed Westwick, John Hannah, Alana Bloor join Kaan Yaman in “Sandokan”

Ed Westwick (“Gossip Girl”), John Hannah (“The Mummy”) and British newcomer Alana Blore are set to join Turkish hero Can Yaman in “Sandokan,” Lux Vide’s reboot of the popular Italian TV series about the adventures of its titular hero. A pirate who fights with his motley crew against colonial powers in Southeast Asia.

Filming is set to begin April 22 outside Rome on the high-end reboot of Italian writer Emilio Salgari's bizarre saga. The original Sandokan, directed by Sergio Sollima in 1976, catapulted Indian actor Kabir Bedi to Bollywood stardom, having been sold in more than 85 countries around the world.

Fremantle-owned Lux ​​Vide's new spin on the popular 'Sandokan' IP is based on an idea by Lux Vide CEO Luca Bernabei that was developed for television by Alessandro Sermoneta (“Devils”); Scott Rosenbaum (“The Shield”); Davide Lantieri (“Monterossi”) and directed by Gian Maria Michelini (“The Devils”) and Nicola Abatangelo (“Doc”).

In an unusual arrangement, “Sandokan” will be broadcast on RAI1, the flagship station of Italian state broadcaster RAI, and will be distributed worldwide by Fremantle except for one territory. In Spain, the distributor of the bid is the Berlusconi-controlled Mediterráneo Mediaset España group.

“Sandokan” is set in mid-19th century Borneo, where the indigenous Dayak tribes are dominated by the cruel British “at the height of their colonial power,” as the synopsis provided explains.

The new “Sandokan” is also being described as a grand epic with a strong environmental angle.

In the beginning, Sandokan (Yaman) goes about his hacking business without taking sides, leading his motley crew that includes his trusted friend Yanez De Gomera, played by Italian star Alessandro Preziosi (“The False Life of Adults”). Everything changes during the raid when Sandokan crosses paths and runs away with Marianne (Blore), the daughter of the British consul. Pirate hunter Lord James Brooke, played by Westwick, will be hot in their path. The “Gossip Girl” star is the heroine's nemesis “who will stop at nothing to capture Sandokan and win Marian's heart,” the film's synopsis says.

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Also joining the cast of “Sandokan” are Madeline Price (“Geek Girl”); Gilberto Gliozzi (“I delitti del Barlume”); Mark Grossi (“Zero Zero Zero”) and Samuel Segreto (“Stranizza d'amuri”).

“We are very proud to bring the famous Sandokan saga back to Italian homes,” Bernabé said in a statement. “Over the past few years, we have been working to create an international project that will promote Emilio Salgari’s intellectual property in a contemporary way.”

“Sandokan is a legendary figure that marks the history of RAI,” emphasized RAI's Head of Drama Department, Maria Pia Ammirati.

Jens Richter, Chief Commercial and International Officer at Fremantle, added: “We are excited to partner with Lux Vide and Rai Fiction on this exciting and ambitious reimagining of this beloved saga for new audiences around the world.”

Filming for the show will begin in Formello, outside Rome, where the “Sandokan” group will open the new Theater 7 inside Lux Vide's production center. “Sandokan” will also be filmed in the Lazio region, Tuscany, Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, and in Italy’s evocative southern Calabria region, where the English Labuan colony of Lamezia Terme has been recreated with the support of Calabria Film. commission.

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