Netflix on Track to Open Italy Hub, Plans to Double Down on Local Originals (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix is on track to open its Italian base in Rome in the second quarter of 2021, and is committing to doubling down on its output of local original series by 2022.

The streaming giant revealed plans to open a Rome office one year ago, just prior to the pandemic, but the crisis slowed down the opening. Now, the company has taken a lease on a large, classy neoclassic building in central Rome, called Villino Rattazzi, located near the U.S. Embassy and the iconic Via Veneto.

The Netflix Rome office will be opening in the second half of this year and will start out with a staff of 40 employees, ranging from marketing and public relations to production executives. That number is destined to grow, it said in a statement.

“We are delighted to have found our Italian home in Rome, which is tangible proof of our ambitious commitment and marks a milestone of our adventure in Italy,” said Netflix VP of Italian original series Eleonora Andreatta. Being physically present in Italy for Netflix will mean “full willingness to expand and consolidate a network of relationships, and to be open to ideas and projects; to become, in short, an even greater opportunity for Italy’s creative and production community,” she added.

Though the number of Netflix originals, both series and movies, out of Italy is currently lower than in other European countries such as France and Spain, where they set up camp earlier on, the streamer’s Italian output has been steadily growing.

Netflix in 2020 launched five new Italian drama seasons, including supernatural drama “Curon” and witchcraft period piece “Luna Nera” — which were both new shows — alongside new instalments of recurring skeins, such as “Suburra” and “Baby.” Netflix last year also spawned several Italian original movies, most notably Sophia Loren-starrer “The Life Ahead” (pictured) which has some Oscar buzz, and “The Incredible Story of Rose Island.” Upcoming Netflix films out of Italy include Paolo Sorrentino’s hotly anticipated “The Hand of God.”

With its Rome hub up and running, the plan is for Netflix to start churning out more Italian content, the goal being to double the number of Italian original series by 2022.

There are currently eight Netflix Italy skeins in various stages planned to drop in 2021. They include “Zero,” which will mark the first Italian series centered around the lives of Black Italian youths and is in post; “Fedeltà,” which is based on a bestseller about a young couple contending with presumed mutual betrayals, which is shooting; and a show working-titled “Luna Park,” set during Rome’s “La Dolce Vita” days.

Meanwhile, shooting started Monday in Turin on a new Netflix Italian original series titled “An Astrological Guide for Broken Hearts,” created by India-born Switzerland-based multi-hyphenate Bindu de Stoppani, who is co-directing with Italy’s Michela Andreozzi. The rom com is being produced by Italian International Film – Lucisano Group.

The biggest show Netflix has in the pipeline in Italy is Elena Ferrante adaptation “The Lying Life of Adults,” being produced by Domenico Procacci’s Fandango, which has a planned 2022 delivery date.

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