"Our vision is of a contemporary story every bit as commercial, iconic and award-worthy as the original."

11 Jul 2015 - 11:12 AM  UPDATED 11 Jul 2015 - 11:12 AM

ROME, July 10 (Reuters) - The family of Italian director Federico Fellini have sanctioned a remake of his classic film La Dolce Vita, 55 years after the original hit the screens.

The Rome-based film company AMBI Pictures said in a statement they had signed a deal to produce what they called "a homage" to La Dolce Vita, which was shot in black and white and starred Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg and Anouk Aimee.

"Our vision is of a contemporary story every bit as commercial, iconic and award-worthy as the original," said AMBI owners Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi. They added that no decisions had been made about casting or the director.

La Dolce Vita followed the escapades of a reporter, played by Mastroianni, as he mixes with Rome's fading nobility, the nouveau riche, starlets and hangers-on in the city's Via Veneto, while he struggles to find meaning in his own life.

In its most iconic scene, Sylvia, a towering, blonde diva played by Ekberg, lures Mastroianni into a sensual midnight wade in the cold waters of Rome's Trevi Fountain.

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"We've been approached countless times and asked to consider everything from remakes and reimaginings to prequels and sequels," Fellini's niece Francesca Fellini said in a statement.

"We knew it would take very special producers and compelling circumstances to motivate the family to allow rights to be optioned," she added. No financial details were given.

AMBI said its past credits included the 3D cartoon "Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad" and the sci-fi thriller "Rupture".

(Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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