EXCLUSIVE: Two-time BAFTA nominee Peter Chelsom is making his second feature, the revenge thriller The Beauty of Sharks with Indiana Production in Italy. The news comes as Chelsom’s Italian thriller Security drops on Netflix today.
Written by Rob Green with rewrites by Chelsom and Tinker Linsday, the pic, set in 1958, follows Mrs. Joy Hamilton, a recently widowed American socialite on the brink of ending her life when she sees the chance to avenge a famous millionairess, whose son she raised as her own. Believing the son to be dead, Mrs. Hamilton recruits a handsome gigolo to be the imposter in a dangerous confidence trick. The Beauty of Sharks will shoot in Amalfi in January and casting is underway. Colin Vaines and Lee Brazier will produce.
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Chelsom tells Deadline, “It’s very much a ‘modern period film’ – a story that addresses issues of privilege, prejudice and fluidity which, by virtue of the setting of 1958, are actually thrown into sharper relief. It gives us a different kind of license to deal with issues for which people did not even have a vocabulary. A sharper contrast through which we portray those who did not fit the mold.”
Sales outside of Italy for The Beauty of Sharks will be handled by Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel at The Solution Entertainment Group. Said Wilson, “We have wanted to work with Peter for many years. I am delighted that we will be collaborating on this wonderful project”.
Security is based on the Stephen Amidon novel, and was adapted by Chelsom and Tinker Lindsay, Silvio Muccino, Michele Pellegrini and Amina Grenci.
Chelsom’s Security is a companion piece to the film Capitale Umano. That movie centered around the question: what is the price of a human life? Security asks: what is the price we pay for security in an ever-threatened world? When a local teenage girl is sexually assaulted and beaten, it creates a shockwave that ripples through the town, exposing cracks, revealing corruption and prejudice. The blame at first falls on her father, an alcoholic and obvious scapegoat, but not for long. The setting is the elite enclave of Forte Dei Marmi. Its inhabitants look to one man to uphold their ideal – Roberto Santini (Marco D’Amore) – the man responsible for the security of those around him, for their elaborate alarm systems – the man who dares to unknot the many tangled threads, including his own, and finds himself conflicted by the nature of his relationship with each new suspect. Conflicted in particular by the fact that his own wife, Claudia, is running for Mayor with the slogan “A vote for me is a vote for a safer Forte Dei Marmi”. For Roberto it’s not just about solving a crime, it’s about saving a community that is in danger of losing its soul.
Security was released in Italy as a Sky Original and shot entirely in Italian. Vision Distribution also produced for Sky Cinema. Chelsom persuaded the studio not to release it in Italian cinemas, rather that the pic should be seen by the widest Italian audience possible due to Covid and released on a streaming platform. Pic is produced by Marco Cohen, Benedetto Habib, Fabrizio Donvito and Daniel Campos Pavoncelli.
Said Chelsom, “Security is the realization of a long-held dream to direct an Italian film in Italian. I had come close before but each time it was derailed by another film. When they sent me the novel of Security, it was the right time. Even though I speak Italian, I have to confess I was apprehensive. But at a certain point you realize, like musicians, that you share a common language – the language of film making. This applies to my superb crew, including Oscar winner cinematographer, Mauro Fiore. As for the cast, I have to say it was one of the strongest ensemble of actors I have ever worked with. I had the best of Italy with Marco D’Amore (Gomorrah) as the lead.”
Chelsom previously directed Berlin, I Love You; The Space Between Us, Hannah Montana: The Movie, Shall We Dance, Serendipity, Town & Country, The Mighty, Funny Bones and Hear My Song. Chelsom received a BAFTA nomination in 1993 for his screenplay on Hear My Song and in 1988 for his short movie Treacle.
Chelsom is repped by UTA AND Paul Hastings.