EXCLUSIVE: Sky Atlantic picks up first foreign-language series, TWC working on English-language TV version.

This story first appeared in Screen’s sister publication Broadcast.

Sky Atlantic has acquired its first foreign-language series, the hotly anticipated Italian crime-drama Gomorrah from distributors Arrow Films and Beta Film.

The 12 x 60-minute series about Neapolitan crime organisation the Camorra will air in the UK with English subtitles later this year after being bought by Sky Entertainment acquisitions manager Sophie Judge.

Based on Roberto Saviano’s controversial book of the same name, the Cattleya-produced series has been a top seller for Beta Film, with a US deal currently being finalised with The Weinstein Company.

Last year, it was sold to Sky Germany, HBO Nordic in Scandinavia and HBO Latin America.

In an exclusive interview with Broadcast to be published next week, The Weinstein Company also confirmed that it is developing an English-language version of the series with Italian production firm Cattleya.

Stefano Sollima (Romanzo Criminale) directed six episodes of Gomorrah, which was shot on location in and around Naples, Barcelona, Milan and Ferrara. The remaining episodes were directed by Claudio Cupellini and Francesca Comencini.

Saviano’s all-access book was adapted by Italian production company Fandango into a critically acclaimed film, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008.

The controversial nature of Saviano’s exposé means that he has to live with a permanent police escort after receiving death threats from Neapolitan crime lords.

Sky Atlantic channel director Julia Barry said the show would build on the success of Sky Atlantic’s first bi-lingual drama The Tunnel, a Kudos remake of Scandi series The Bridge.

Beta Film senior vice-president of international sales and production Oliver Bachert described Gomorrah as “a milestone of new European television”.