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Antonio Banderas to Star in The Monster of Florence Limited Series


Oscar-nominated actor Antonio Banderas is set to star in The Monster of Florence, a limited series about the infamous Italian serial killer that is in the works at Studiocanal.

Variety broke the news, reporting that Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) will direct the series, which he co-wrote with Anders Thomas Jensen (In a Better World). The two of them adapted the bestselling non-fiction book of the same name by American novelist Douglas Preston and Italian crime reporter Mario Spezi, the latter of whom will be played by Banderas. The dashing Spanish actor will also executive produce alongside his manager, Emanuel Nuñez.

The Monster of Florence: A True Story follows the extraordinary investigation into “one of the most riveting and notorious serial murder cases in European history,” per Studiocanal. In a unique twist, Spezi was even accused of being the killer at one point, though he and Preston eventually identified the killer and even conducted an interview with him. Their book has sold more than half a million copies, and it has been published in 24 languages, so expect bidding from networks and streamers to be pretty fierce for this high-profile project.


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“The book is an absolute page-turner; powerful, compelling, dangerous, and personal. You simply can’t believe this all happened to them. We can’t wait to begin production on the series in Florence and to be able to work with one of our favorite actors Antonio Banderas,” Studiocanal’s Ron Halpern told Variety.

’What happens if an entire country starts believing a destructive lie, fed to them by corrupt men in power? That’s the big idea at the heart of The Monster Of Florence, and I can’t imagine a better time to tell it,” added Arcel, who earned an Oscar nomination for writing 2012’s Mads MikkelsenAlicia Vikander drama A Royal Affair. He also co-wrote the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie starring Noomi Rapace.

Banderas earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in Pedro Almodovar‘s Pain and Glory, and he can currently be seen alongside his Desperado co-star Salma Hayek in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. He will soon be seen alongside Penelope Cruz in Official Competition, and he’ll also appear in Sony’s Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg.

The timing of this announcement sure is funny to me, as I just finished a book about The Hillside Strangler(s) and was deciding between The Monster of Florence and The Devil in the White City as my next book — until an early copy of Bullet Train arrived in the mail. I’ve been eager to read both of the other books for years, and will hopefully get around to them later this summer.

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