Netflix has acquired the worldwide rights to Sophia Loren’s return to the screen and her first feature film in over a decade, a drama called “The Life Ahead,” the streaming service announced Monday.
Edoardo Ponti directed Loren in the film, and Netflix will debut it later this year.
Loren plays a Holocaust survivor named Madame Rosa who runs a daycare business living in seaside Italy and takes in a 12-year-old street kid named Momo after he robs her. The two loners become each other’s protectors, anchoring an unconventional family.
Ponti and Ugo Chiti adapted the screenplay from the book “The Life Before Us” by Romain Gary. “The Life Ahead” also stars Ibrahima Gueye, Renato Carpentieri and Massimiliano Rossi alongside Loren.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Netflix on such a special film. In my career, I’ve worked with the biggest studios but I can safely say that none have had the breadth of reach and the cultural diversity of Netflix, and that’s what I love about them,” Loren said in a statement. “They have understood that you don’t build a global studio unless you cultivate local talent in every country and give these unique voices an opportunity to be heard. Everyone deserves to be heard, this is what our film ‘The Life Ahead’ is all about and that is also what Netflix is all about.”
“Sophia Loren is one of the most admired and celebrated actresses in the world. We’re honored to welcome her, Edoardo and the talented team who made this film to the Netflix family. ‘The Life Ahead’ is a beautiful and brave story that, much like Sophia herself, will be embraced by audiences in Italy and all around the world,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement.
“The Life Ahead” is produced by Palomar – Mediawan Group with support from Impact Partners Film Service, Artemis Rising Foundation, Foothills Productions, Another Chapter Productions and Scone Investments.
Ponti is the director of the short films “The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars” and “Human Voice.” “Human Voice” was Loren’s previous role back in 2014, which was based on a one-woman play from Jean Cocteau.
Loren’s last feature was 2009’s “Nine,” the musical from director Rob Marshall. She’s an Oscar winner for Vittorio De Sica’s “Two Women” from 1960.