Principal photography isunderway in Rome on Michele Placido's epic crime drama Romanzo Criminale, the latest collaboration between Warner BrosPictures Italy and Cattleya.

Warner Bros Italy holdsItalian theatrical and home video rights on the picture, a fact-based sagaabout street gangs who try to control Rome's underworld from the mid-1970sthrough the 1990s.

Stefano Rulli and SandroPetraglia adapted the screenplay from Giancarlo De Cataldo's novel and thepicture stars Stefano Accorsi, Kim Rossi Stuart, Anna Mouglalis, ClaudioSantamaria, Pierfrancesco Favino, Riccardo Scamarcio and Jasmine Trinca.

Placido, a successful formertelevision actor, moved into filmmaking in 1989 and has since directed sevenfeatures including Un Eroe Borghese(An Everyday Hero). His lastpicture Ovunque Sei played incompetition at Venice in September.

Prior to RomanzoCriminale, the most recentcollaboration between Warner Bros Pictures Italy and Cattleya was Luca Lucini'sdebut feature Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo (Three Steps Over Heaven).

"We are proud to be partneringagain with Cattleya on Romanzo Criminale," Richard Fox, executive vicepresident of international at Warner Bros Entertainment, said in a statement.

"We have a wonderful castand a gifted director in Michele Placido, and we look forward to a film that willcombine an exciting narrative with strong social drama."

"Michele Placido holdsa special place in the heart of the Italian people," Paolo Ferrari, managingdirector of Warner Bros Pictures Italy, added: It is a pleasure and honour to produce and release the filmof this talented director with such a prestigious cast."

"We are proud to produce RomanzoCriminale and to continue ourassociation with Warner Bros Pictures," Cattleya chief Riccardo Tozzi said.

"We believe that the talentinvolved in this project, the genre it tackles, and the great productive effortput into it will make it a unique and distinctive film in the landscape ofItalian cinema."