Rupert Everett and Malcom McDowell have joined the cast of Amazon heist series “Everybody Loves Diamonds,” which is being produced as an original in Italy, where the streamer on Tuesday also revealed a slew of unscripted local shows.
Amazon’s previously announced high-end show follows a group of thieves led by Sicilian mastermind Leonardo Notarbartolo — being played by Italy’s Kim Rossi Stewart — who in 2003 managed to circumvent the advanced security system of the Antwerp Diamond Center and steal precious stones worth more than $100 million. Everett and McDowell play secondary roles that will add international heft to the high-end skein, which is produced by Fremantle-owned Wildside and will drop globally in 2023.
Journalists were given a sneak peek of “Diamonds” on Tuesday during a Prime Video presentation in Rome where Nicole Morganti, head of Amazon’s originals for Italy, said that Amazon’s investments in Italian content are now “split evenly between unscripted and scripted.” However, the slate of new content she unveiled this week is almost entirely unscripted.
New shows in Amazon’s Italian pipeline comprise a “LOL Xmas Special” prompted by the massive success of the local version of the streamer’s comedy show “LOL: Last One Laughing”; Season 2 of Italian food travelogue “Dinner Club”; improvisational comedy show “Prova Prova Sa Sa”; a movie titled “Sono Lillo” with fan-favorite comic Lillo Petrolo who broke out in “LOL”; a doc featuring Italian pop star Mahmoud; and another doc titled “Kobe – An Italian Story” on late great NBA star Kobe Bryant who grew up in Italy while his father, Joe Bryant, played for several teams in the country.
The “Kobe” doc, produced by Italy’s Indigo Stories, is a pickup and has been acquired by Amazon for play in Italy only.
“We’ve managed to provide Italians an alternate source of [non-scripted] entertainment, which is something that [other] streamers haven’t done so far in Italy,” noted Morganti, who comes from the unscripted side of the TV business, and was most recently at Discovery before joining Amazon in 2019. She declined to provide information on Amazon’s level of investment and number of subscribers in Italy besides saying that both are growing.
Amazon also broadcasts UEFA Champions League soccer in Italy.
“Last year it was all scripted [content]; this year we have a mix,” said Morganti, who added that Amazon will be revealing more Italian scripted original shows in the fall.
Meanwhile, Prime Video’s Italian original young adult series “Prisma,” centered around identical adolescent twins who challenge gender norms in different ways, will be launching from the Locarno Film Festival in August before dropping globally on a still unspecified date this fall.
Davide Nardini, who heads Amazon’s Italian scripted originals, called the young adult demographic “a very important segment of the audience that presents lots of storytelling opportunities” and pointed out that “the themes in ‘Prisma’ have never been delved into in Italy before.”