Warner Bros Pictures' has started production on its second Italian-language film, a sequel to 1970s cult movie La Febbre Del Cavallo starring Italy's Gigi Proietti, who also played the lead in the original comedy.

The new picture, entitled La Febbre Del Cavallo - La Mandrakata is directed by popular filmmaker Carlo Vanzina, whose father Steno directed the original version. The script is written by Vanzina and his brother Enrico, who also co-scripted the 1976 movie.

The picture centres around the world of horse-race betting and the adventures of Mandrake, played by Proietti. It also stars Nancy Brilli, Rodolfo Lagana, Carlo Buccirosso, and Andrea Ascolese.

Warner is co-producing with Italy's Solaris and International Video 80, and holds local and international distribution rights. Shooting began yesterday in Tor di Valle, on the outskirts of Rome, and is scheduled to last until mid-July, with a release planned for next November.

Warner, which recently hired Crisilde Dominici as director of local production, Italy, as part of its expansion drive into European production and acquisitions, is currently finishing production on Carlo Verdone's comedy Ma Che Colpa Abbiamo Noi.