The famous Italian comic strip created by the Giussani sisters becomes an ambitious movie aiming for foreign distribution. Let-s pay homage with some evil tattoos.
Let’s start with the basics. ‘Diabolik’ is a sterling artistic 2021 Italian movie directed by Manetti Bros., two Roman brothers (Marco and Antonio) with a great love for the cult films of the past 50 years.
It’s an adaptation – as usually happens in the Marvel and DC worlds – of the comic book of the same name created in the early sixties by Angela and Luciana Giussani, two sisters from an upper middle class Milanese family.
The plot of the 2021 movie focuses on the first meeting between the famous thief and his partner and accomplice Eva Kant, which occurred in 1962 in the third album of the original series called ‘L’arresto di Diabolik’ (‘Diabolik’s arrest’).
This is the second film adaptation for the character after the 1968 film (‘Diabolik’) directed by Mario Bava. Here the character of Diabolik is played by Italian actor Luca Marinelli, while Miriam Leone and Valerio Mastandrea are Eva Kant and Inspector Ginko, chief of police of Clearville (an imaginary city) and number one enemy of the masked robber. Secondary roles are assigned to Claudia Gerini, Alessandro Roja, Vanessa Scalera, Luca Di Giovanni, Antonino Iuorio and Stefano Pesce.
It was the Manetti Bros., directors and screenwriters, both big fans of the comic strip, who came up with the idea of bringing the evil and ambigous universe of Diabolik back to the big screen more than half a century after the only previous one – Bava’s work was more ironic and inspired by an almost 007/James Bond type of imagery compared with this one, which is far more faithful to the original comic book.
And it was this loyalty which met with the approval of Mario Gomboli, director of Astorina, aka the publishing company holding the rights to Diabolik.
Gomboli told to the press: “What made me realize that I was finally dealing with the right people was their passion, their knowledge of the character and his peculiarities. And I said “finally” not by chance, mindful of several unhappy previous experiences.”
The production and the various sets – shot during 2019 and 2020 – were 100% Made in Italy. The first three days of filming took place in Courmayeur, then the production moved to Bologna, where exterior scenes of a car chase in Via Marconi and interior scenes at the Grand Hotel Majestic were shot.
The Bologna shootings alternated with those at Milan, while Trieste were used for the maritime setting. Finally the set moved to Mezzano, in the province of Ravenna.
The film’s release in Italian cinemas, initially set for December 31, 2020 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and postponed to December 16, 2021.
In April 2021, even before the release of the work, 01 Distribution announced that two sequels were in the pipeline. But it seems Luca Marinelli won’t be playing the leading role of Diabolik in these two movies.