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Netflix Takes Global Rights For Italian Nick Hornby Adaptation ‘Slam’

Variety logo Variety 3/8/2017 Nick Vivarelli
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Netflix has taken global rights outside Italy to Italian director Andrea Molaioli’s teen pregnancy pic “Slam,” which is based on the novel by the same title by British writer Nick Hornby, known for “High Fidelity,” “Fever Pitch” and “About a Boy.”

The deal is being touted as the streaming giant’s first global launch of an Italian feature film.

Netflix has confirmed it has signed a deal with Indigo Film and Rai Cinema under which starting April 15 it will release “Slam” (pictured) as a Netflix Original in 189 countries.

Produced by Indigo Film, which is the prominent Italian shingle behind Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning “The Great Beauty,” with financing from Rai Cinema, “Slam” transposes to Rome Hornby’s London-set story about a 16-year-old skateboarding aficionado who is afraid of becoming a father. It stars Jasmine Trinca (“Miele”) and Luca Marinelli (“They Call Me Jeeg”) as the protagonists’ young parents.

Universal will release “Slam” theatrically on March 23 in Italy, where it will subsequently get a DVD release, followed by a Netflix outing and also a free-TV airing on pubcaster Rai.

“Slam,” which premiered last year at the Torino Film Festival to tepid response from Italian film critics, is among titles being conceived by Indigo for both the teen demographic and the international market.

Earlier this month at a Berlin press event Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that since 2012 Netflix has invested more than $1.75 billion on licensed and original European content and unveiled a sneak preview of its first Italian original series “Suburra,” about present-day ties between organized crime and politics in the Italian capital. The show is being co-produced by Cattleya and Rai.

Last month Netflix announced their first Italian comedy special featuring Italian standup comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, whose Five Star movement leads the country’s parliamentary opposition. Titled “Grillo vs. Grillo,” the special went out globally on Netflix on Feb. 10.

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