Casting a historical figure is a tough move to make, but we’re thinking that Joe Wright has made the perfect call in tapping The Old Guard star Luca Marinelli to take on the role of Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini in the upcoming Sky series, M. Son of the Century. Today, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the Italian star would be stepping into the role of the dictator in a project that will pull its story from Antonio Scurati’s best-selling novel of the same name.
Over the course of eight episodes, M. Son of the Century will tell the story of how Mussolini came to power. Taking audiences back in time, the series will explain how the fallout of WWI led to the creation of the Italian fascist party in 1919, and how it gained momentum over the next several years before Mussolini seized complete power in 1925. It will cover his history-making speech before parliament and reveal how he was able to have such a dominating hold on the country until, primarily due to joining the Axis powers during WWII, he was finally ousted from his position. We can also expect to see the dictator’s final days in custody as well as his infamous death and the shocking aftermath.
An Italian native, Marinelli has appeared in several critically acclaimed films including Martin Eden and Eight Mountains. He recently wrapped filming on Netflix’s The Old Guard 2. A sequel to 2020’s superhero flick, he’ll be reprising his role as Nicky alongside a star-studded cast including the return of Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Vân Veronica Ngô, and Chiwetel Ejiofor along with newbies Uma Thurman and Henry Golding.
Known well for his talent in crafting several of the most memorable period pieces, Wright was the perfect choice to helm the telling of Italy’s despised dictator. With past award-nominated titles including Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina, Cyrano, and Darkest Hour, the production is in great hands. Along with its leading talent and the backing of a celebrated filmmaker, M. Son of the Century is being penned by Stefano Bises (The New Pope, Gomorrah) and Davide Serino (1992). Sky Studios and The Apartment Pictures’ Lorenzo Mieli will produce in association with Pathé. The project will be a Sky Original with streaming only available on Sky NOW.
As of right now, M. Son of the Century has not announced a release window, but stay tuned to Collider for more information.