By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz March 28, 2013 at 3:30PM
With a gigantic budget of 127 million Euro, a huge cast of more than a thousand actors and extras and 42 weeks of shooting in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S, Dante’s Inferno will be produced as a 125-minute motion picture and a 7-episode television series. The capital vices will be the focus of this modern version of Dante’s work, realized with the most advanced 3d acquisition system and showing fantastic scenarios of volcanoes, petrified forests, glaciers and salt plains. Director Simone Orlandini and producers David Bush and Teresina Moscatiello presented the project during the 63rd Berlinale.
The ambitious project of translating the everlasting masterpiece by Dante Alighieri for the first time onto the big screen has a noble father: it was conceived as the last visionary dream of Alfredo Bini, producer of Pasolini and Orlandini’s “grandfather”. Bini’s film should have had a stellar cast, with Vittorio Gasmann in the role of Dante, and Orson Welles as director; yet, the latter died shortly after accepting the job. Orlandini now takes up the immense challenge, thanks to the extraordinary material put together by Bini, but also availing himself of the immense progress of current technology: “Cinema – says Orlandini – has now reached such a technical as well as artistic maturity as to be able to confront and tackle this universal and immortal work, which has already over the centuries inspired the greatest artists in the fields of literature, music and visual arts”. There will be a grandiose studio reconstruction (all the nine infernal circles) and myriads of effects to create all the characters, the allegorical figures, the fantastic animals, the terrifying scenes and all the astonishing situations conjured up by Dante’s incomparable poetic imagination. The sceneries have already been designed by the prestigious art director Danilo Donati, winner of two Oscars and of countless international awards.
Today’s script, designed for a young audience, is an adaptation of the original script written by professor Luigi Pruneti, renowned writer and essayist, and Florentine just like the great poet.
"We have already put together - say Bush and Moscatiello - 45% of the productive forces and the artistic and technical talents required to make the film; significantly, all of the professionals are Oscar winners. We have contacted major studios in New Zealand and Germany’s Babelsberg for the studio shoot. The film will be produced in stereo 3d and with extensive use of digital technology.”
As for the cast, the roles of Dante, Virgil and Beatrice will be covered by International A-list stars, and among the numerous actors and extras dozens of extraordinary world-class artists, dancers and musicians will appear. The release 2015 is the 750th anniversary of Dante's birth and given the very high cultural value of the project, the production will ask for patronage from the President of the Italian Republic and the collaboration of UNESCO.