‘The Young Pope’ Producers Mario Gianani, Lorenzo Mieli Exit Fremantle to Form New Outfit

Prominent Italian producers Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Mieli are exiting their Fremantle-owned companies — Wildside and The Apartment, respectively — in an industry shakeup expected to lead them to jointly form a new independent scripted content outfit.

Gianani and Mieli co-founded Wildside in 2009 and turned it into the powerhouse behind major global dramas such as RAI/HBO’s “The Young Pope” and “My Brilliant Friend,” to name a few. Wildside was aquired by Fremantle in 2015.

More from Variety

Mieli subsequently went his own way and set up The Apartment in 2020 under the Fremantle umbrella. Recent The Apartment titles include Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” and Pablo Larrain’s upcoming Angelina-starrer “Maria” about iconic soprano Maria Callas, amid a rich international slate.

A Fremantle Italy spokesperson confirmed the ongoing exits of the two top producers, adding that the separations are not acrimonious and that Fremantle is discussing “the ways in which we will will continue to work together.”

An official statement from all parts is expected soon that will clarify details of this split that leaves Wildside and The Apartment with plenty of Fremantle-owned IP and projects in various stages but without the captains who steered those ships.

Both Wildside and The Apartment and their slates are fully owned by Fremantle. Gianani and Mieli are expected to continue to work with Fremantle on the more substantial existing projects.

Meanwhile, according to several sources, Gianani and Mieli are forming another company backed by a still unknown investment fund, under an arrangement likely to personally provide them with greater potential profit margins but also higher risk.

Wildside is behind Italy’s 2023 box office megahit “There’s Still Tomorrow,” which beat “Barbie” at the local box office, as well as arthouse hit “The Eight Mountains.” It also had a hand in Disney+ series “The Good Mothers,” currently playing on Hulu in the U.S., and Saverio Costanzo’s Venice title “Finally Dawn,” which is believed to have gone over-budget.

Besides Coppola’s “Priscilla,” The Apartment is behind Pietro Castellitto’s Venice title “Enea,” currently playing to middling returns in Italian cinemas. Their upcoming titles, besides “Maria,” include Luca Guadagnino’s hotly anticipated William Burroughs adaptation “Queer,” starring Daniel Craig. 

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.