‘Freaks vs. the Reich’ Director Gabriele Mainetti Shooting Rome-Set Kung Fu Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

Italian director Gabriele Mainetti, known internationally for genre-bending titles “They Call Me Jeeg” and “Freaks vs. the Reich,” is shooting a kung fu movie set in Rome’s multi-ethnic Piazza Vittorio quarter.

Cameras have just started rolling in Rome on Mainetti’s yet-to-be titled third feature that will see him riff on martial arts movie tropes, following his fresh takes on a 1970 Japanese cartoon series in “Jeeg,” and then on the Nazi hunter film genre in “Freaks.”  

Vision Distribution will be launching sales on the film at the Cannes Marché du Film.

Set in the cosmopolitan melting pot of Rome’s Piazza Vittorio hood, Mainetti’s latest work will see two very different souls intersect. One is the son of an indebted local restaurant owner who disappeared with his lover. The other is a young mysterious woman who has just arrived in the Italian capital in search of her missing sister. “United by fate, the two will find themselves catapulted into the slums of Rome’s criminal underbelly,” reads the synopsis. “To survive they will have to fight side by side in an overwhelming no-holds-barred adventure, challenging armies of ruthless criminals, but above all, ancient prejudices, and cultural diversity.”

The Rome-set kung fu movie stars Chinese martial artist Liu Yaxi, who was Liu Yifei’s stunt double in Disney’s “Mulan,” alongside Italy’s Enrico Borello (“Lovely Boy”), Sabrina Ferilli (“The Great Beauty”), Marco Giallini (“Perfect Strangers”) and Luca Zingaretti (“Montalbano”).

The film is penned by Mainetti with screenwriters Stefano Bises (“Gomorrah”) and Davide Serino (“The Bad Guy”). It’s being produced by Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa for Wildside, the Fremantle company behind “The Eight Mountains,” the Alps-set drama that won the jury prize last year in Cannes and went on to be a specialty title hit. Also on board are Vision Distribution, a Sky Company, and Mainetti’s Goon Films shingle in collaboration with Germany’s DCM, which will distribute the film in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and France’s Quad Films, which will release it in France. Vision will also handle distribution in Italy.

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