Paolo Sorrentino is tackling the story of Silvio Berlusconi's world.

6 Sep 2016 - 10:06 AM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2016 - 10:06 AM

VENICE, Italy -- Oscar-winning Italian director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty) will next direct a drama about Silvio Berlusconi and the former Italian prime minister's inner circle.

The film is working-titled Loro, according to a reliable source. That translates in Italian as "Them." The title also involves some wordplay, given the assonance with another word, "L'oro," which in Italian means gold.

Sorrentino is writing the screenplay for the Italian-language film which could start shooting as early as the northern summer 2017, given that he known to be a rapid screenwriter.

Loro will follow Sorrentino's recently completed 10-part English-language TV series The Young Pope, starring Jude Law, which premiered positively Saturday at the 73rd Venice Film Festival.

The prolific director has already made several features involving powerful men who are lonely at the top, including Il Divo, about Giulio Andreotti, Italy's late former seven-time premier, who was a symbol of postwar Italy.

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Berlusconi, who turns 80 this month, is believed to be preparing to exit Italy's political arena after more than two decades in the spotlight during which he served four times as prime minister and defined an era in the country's life. He had open heart surgery in July and in August sold his A.C. Milan soccer team, a symbol of his success, to a Chinese consortium.

Loro is expected to be a depiction of Berlusconi's world, but not a scathing sterile criticism.

Indigo Films, the company that has made all of Sorrentino's movies to date, is expected to produce the film. But Silvio Berlusconi-controlled Medusa, which has co-financed his most recent works, including The Great Beauty and Youth, is instead highly unlikely to be involved in this one.

Berlusconi has previously been fodder for several Italian pictures, most notably Nanni Moretti's 2006 The Caiman, about a washed-up B-movie director hired to make a Berlusconi satire.

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