Shooting has begun, and will continue for a further 8 weeks in Taranto and Rome, on Comandante, directed by Edoardo De Angelis, starring Pierfrancesco Favino as Commander Salvatore Todaro and written by De Angelis and Sandro Veronesi. The cast includes Massimiliano Rossi and Silvia D'Amico.
The setting for the film is the Italian (then) Royal Naval Cappellini submarine, which Salvatore Todaro, a legendary hero of the seas, commanded in his idiosyncratic manner during WWII: a reinforced steel hull in case of unlikely boarding attempts; cannons to fire on surfacing to tackle the enemy in close combat; and a crew armed with daggers against improbable bodily attacks. The submarine was painstakingly recreated by following archival information (mostly photographic material) found in the Navy’s Historical Office: its construction - 73m long and 70 tonnes of steel - in collaboration with Cinecittà, required the work of 100+ professionals including engineers, builders and artisans. The work began 23 May 2022 and took 8 months, concluding with a launch in the Naval Base wet dock at the end of October.
Once the shoot is completed, the Cappellini could become a museum of Naval history with multimedia exhibits.
The film also makes use of substantial visual effects curated by Kevin Tod Haug (Fight club, Twilight, Panic Room), with Oscar® winner David Stump (X – MEN, Breaking Bad, Batman Forever) as workflow supervisor. The costumes were entrusted to Massimo Cantini Parrini, Oscar® nominee for Pinocchio and Cyrano.
Comandante tells a universal story that, as Edoardo De Angelis specifies, could be set in the 1940s as easily as in Ancient Rome: “The commander of a Roman trireme 2000 years ago is the same man who commands a submarine in the Atlantic in the midst of WWII. That man is Salvatore and he is strong. He pierces the metal of enemy ships without fear and without mercy. However, an unarmed enemy is no longer such, but is simply a man and so Salvatore saves him. Because the truly strong human being is the person able to hold out a hand to someone weaker. Salvatore knows the eternal laws that rule the sky and the sea and he knows that they are above any other law. Salvatore was born 2000 years ago: he is Italian”.
The film is an Indigo Film production with Rai Cinema, O'Groove, Tramp LTD, VGroove and Wise, produced by Pierpaolo Verga, Nicola Giuliano, Attilio De Razza, Edoardo De Angelis in collaboration with the Italian Navy, Cinecittà and Fincantieri, in coproduction with Beside Productions.
The film was supported by the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the Direzione Generale Cinema e Audiovisivo of the MInistry of Culture, with development contribution from Regione Campania, Agenzia Turistica Regionale Puglia Promozione, with collaboration from the Apulia Film Commission. Distributed by 01 Distribution.