M. Son of the Century: New Sky drama to tell Mussolini’s rise to power

Sky has announced brand new drama M. Son of the Century.

The original series will be based on Antonio Scurati’s Premio Strega-winning and international bestselling novel that chronicles the birth of fascism in Italy and the rise to power of Duce Benito Mussolini.

Luca Marinelli will lead the cast as Benito Mussolini

Sky shares: “The eight-part series from Sky Studios, produced by Lorenzo Mieli for The Apartment Pictures, a Fremantle Company, in collaboration with Pathé, will cover from the founding of Fasci Italiani in 1919 through to Mussolini’s infamous speech in parliament following the murder of socialist MP Giacomo Matteotti in 1925.

“The series will also provide viewers with an insight into Mussolini and his personal relationships, including with his wife Rachele, his lover Margherita Sarfatti and with other iconic figures from the time.

“Like the novel, the series will tell the history of a country that surrendered to dictatorship and the story of a man who was able to rise from his ashes time and again.”

The drama is written by Stefano Bises (Gomorrah – The Series, The New Pope, ZeroZeroZero, Speravo de morì prima) in collaboration with Davide Serino (1992, 1993, The King, Exterior Night). BAFTA-winning director Joe Wright (Darkest Hour, Atonement, Cyrano) will direct.

The series will tell the events with historical accuracy, with every event, character, dialogue and speech documented or witnessed by multiple sources.

Lorenzo Mieli, CEO of The Apartment Pictures, commented: “Making this series today has great value. In recent years we have witnessed the birth of new forms of populism, sovereignty and authoritarianism.

“Traces of the man who made the March on Rome a hundred years ago can be found in many figures of the times in which we live. Even more so now that Europe has once again become a theatre of war.

“‘M’ recounts the perverse mechanisms of empathy and violence, of manipulation and modernity that swept Italy a century ago. And shortly afterwards the world. It is an extraordinarily contemporary tale, but also a journey into the boundless ambitions, seductive capacities, relationships and fears of a man who made a large part of the Italian people fall in love with him and then dragged them into an abyss. In which, in the end, he himself found death.”

Antonio Scurati added: “M depicts – for the first time from the inside – the rise of the fascist dictatorship and the sinister power of the dictator, Benito Mussolini.

“A theme of tragic relevance. I am happy that a series will extend the literary project. We need stories that awaken the passion for freedom. The struggle between democracy and dictatorship is not over”.

Filming will begin in 2023 with the series set to be shown on Sky and streaming service NOW.

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