‘Escort In Love and Do You See Me? star Paola Cortellesi is to front Sky’s latest Italian original Petra, based on Alicia Giménez-Bartlett’s novels.
The European pay giant has commissioned the series from ITV-owned Gomorrah producer Cattleya and it will be directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi.
The series, which is produced in association with Bartlebyfilm, has started shooting in Genoa, Italy. It features four episodes about the famous woman detective.
Petra, played by Cortellesi, is a twice-divorced detective working a desk job for Genoa’s prestigious criminal investigatory squad when she is suddenly thrust into the frontlines, charged with solving violent crimes and murders. Her newly assigned partner is Antonio Monte – an old-fashioned policeman close to retirement, with years of experience, wisdom and insight. Monte, will be played by Andrea Pennacchi.
Cortellesi said, “Petra is a highly skilled yet imperfect woman, who has the courage to free herself from female clichés, first and foremost the need to please others. She is looking for a way out and is not afraid of the consequences. I love the character that Alicia Giménez-Bartlett has created, and I’m delighted to be able to play her under the direction of Maria Sole Tognazzi, who is an outstanding filmmaker and a dear friend.”
Tognazzi said, “In my films I have always wanted to represent unconventional, free and surprising women who challenge traditional perceptions, and Petra is a perfect opportunity to be part of a great project that focuses on those themes. I’m extremely proud to be given the opportunity to bring Alicia Giménez-Bartlett’s wonderful creation to television. Petra is an iconic character, and I think the public will fall in love with her.”
Nicola Maccanico, Executive Vice President Programming at Sky Italia, added, “The quality and strength of our original productions continues to grow, and we are thrilled to welcome Paola Cortellesi to the Sky family. Paola is an amazing, beloved and accomplished actress, and her involvement is yet another example of our ambition to become the home of Italy’s finest talent. Petra is an important project, which we were able to develop in collaboration with our long-standing partner Cattleya. With an international best-selling novel as the source material, we’re confident this TV adaptation will captivate subscribers as it brings to life an ingenious and complex female character.”’