Paramount+, the streaming service from Paramount Global, launches in Italy on Thursday with more than 8,000 hours of entertainment and a slate of local originals shining a spotlight on women’s voices and stories.
Among them are the previously unveiled original series Miss Fallaci, set to premiere in 2023, which will detail “the true story of one of the most controversial Italian and international journalism icons ever,” Oriana Fallaci, as well as the previously announced Corpo Libero, a teen drama-thriller series set in the world of gymnastics that is based on a novel by Ilaria Bernardini.
Meanwhile, the series Circeo recounts the events surrounding an infamous court case in 1975 that changed Italian society: two teenage girls were found in the trunk of a car in Rome, naked, wrapped in blankets and drenched in blood; one was dead, the other one alive.
The streaming service is also investing in local content and talent more broadly with an Italian originals lineup that includes Francesco Il Cantico, “an immersive reading of one of the most iconic texts dedicated to love,” hosted by Oscar-winning Italian star Roberto Benigni, and a new season of Vita da Carlo, which sees beloved Italian comedian and actor Carlo Verdone serve as director and lead of a series around his life.
The original hosted by Benigni is based on Il Cantico delle creature (Canticle of the Creatures, or Canticle of the Sun, or Praise of the Creatures), a religious song by Saint Francis of Assisi, but the company didn’t immediately detail if it would be a series, special or film or share other details.
The Paramount+ originals are all part of the streamer’s plan to greenlight 150 international originals by 2025.
Also among the content coming to Paramount+ in Italy is Ti Mangio Il Cuore, a film “based on Carlo Bonini and Giuliano Foschini’s novel investigation of the mafia in Foggia and starring famous Italian singer Elodie in her first acting role,” which hits cinemas this month and stream exclusively on Paramount+ by January.
“From notable icons like Oriana Fallaci to the young gymnasts of Corpo Libero, Paramount+ portraits women from different perspectives, putting them at the center of the platform’s stories,” Paramount said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. On the streamer, audiences will find “women of all ages, with varying experiences sharing diverse stories,” it added. Overall, the slate of originals “amplifies women’s voices and stories,” it said. ”Paramount+ is also placing a spotlight on women new to the film and TV industry, like Elodie, the famous Italian singer making her acting debut on the streaming service.”
Several stars touted their upcoming projects. “It’s been an honor for me to play the role of Teresa Capogrossi in Circeo, a young and ambitious lawyer, but also a strong woman, idealistic and passionate,” says Greta Scarano in a statement provided to THR. “The writers condensed in this one character the group of lawyers – both women and men – that represented Donatella Colasanti thorough out the whole trial. Teresa embodies the feminist movement’s instances and does everything in her power to bring these instances from the streets to the courtrooms. Thanks to women like her and their strenuous work, after the trial rape was finally classified as a real crime committed against somebody, instead of an act of public indecency as it was before that iconic trial.”
And Elodie tells THR in a statement: “[My character] Marilena is a real woman, with a complex character, who rebels against certain patterns. She finds herself in a patriarchal society that forces her to the role of wife and mother in a context of oppression. When she realizes that to save her children and herself she must break the silence and speak up, she becomes the first, brave repentant. In interpreting Marilena, I found that I have many affinities with her.”
Paramount Global rolled out a Paramount-blue carpet and hosted a star-studded event on Wednesday at the iconic Cinecittà Studios in Rome to celebrate the Italy launch. Alongside Italian stars, subscribers to Paramount+ in the country will get to enjoy such global talent as Harrison Ford, Jessica Chastain, Helen Mirren, Sylvester Stallone, Miles Teller and more.
Additionally, Paramount+ will be the home of a selection of new blockbuster films following their theatrical and home entertainment releases, including Top Gun: Maverick, which will arrive on the service in Italy later this year.
“Tonight, we are celebrating the debut of Paramount+, which seamlessly combines Hollywood with Italian storytelling and creativity,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO, streaming at Paramount Global. “Italy has been a home to Paramount for many years, and now we’re bringing the best Italian – and global – films and series together in one place on Paramount+.”
“We’re the only streaming service where you’ll see Sylvester Stallone, SpongeBob, Star Trek, South Park and incredible Italian stars like Elodie and Verdone… all in one place,” said Marco Nobili, executive vp and international general manager of Paramount+. “With over 100 years of storytelling experience from our renowned Hollywood studio to our international production hubs, Paramount knows how to make great entertainment for everyone.”
Paramount+ costs €7.99 ($7.98) in Italy after a seven-day trial period, or €79.90 ($79.77) for an annual subscription. “For the first 10 days (Sept. 15-25), users can benefit from a special promo on paramountplus.it to access the service for €4.99 ($4.98), with a seven-day trial period,” the company said.
Paramount+ will also launch on Sky platforms in Italy as part of a previously struck multi-year distribution agreement. Through this deal, Sky subscribers with Sky Cinema will on Sept. 23 get access to Paramount+ content at no additional cost.