February 29, 2024

U.S. actor Elena Kampouris (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3”) is set to star in the Sicily-set “Here Now,” a romantic thriller marking Italian director Gabriele Muccino‘s return to English-language filmmaking. Muccino’s Hollywood credits include the Will Smith-starrer “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

Kampouris’ recent efforts comprise Netflix series “Jupiter’s Legacy” and the 2020 remake of “Children of the Corn.” In “Here Now” she plays Sophie, a young Californian who is traveling in Italy with her sister. During her last day of vacation in Palermo, Sicily, Sophie meets a boy named Giulio and his group of friends with whom she winds up spending “the most unpredictable, crazy, shocking, exciting, romantic and terrifying night of her life,” according to the film’s provided synopsis.

The movie’s other cast members include Saul Nanni, who starred in Netflix Italian original “Love & Gelato”; Lorenzo Richelmy, who toplined Netflix’s “Marco Polo” show and more recently appeared in PBS-ITV period drama “Hotel Portofino”; and Enrico Inserra (Netflix series “Summertime”).

Muccino co-penned “Here Now” with Paolo Costella, who is a writer on “Perfect Strangers,” the Italian megahit dramedy that has been remade in countless countries around the world.

Cameras are now rolling in Palermo on the film for which a seven-week shoot is planned, all in locations within the Sicilian capital.

Muccino broke out in Italy and internationally with the 2001 Rome-set dramedy “The Last Kiss,” about Italian 30-somethings who don’t want to grow up.

He then scored a hit with “The Pursuit of Happyness” in Hollywood, and also directed Will Smith in “Seven Pounds.” Muccino’s last full-fledged English-language movie was the Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried starrer “Fathers and Daughters” in 2015, which flopped.

Muccino then returned to Italy, where he is a big box office draw. His ensemble dramedy “A Casa Tutti Bene” (“There Is No Place Like Home”) was Italy’s top local hit in 2018 and was subsequently spun off into multi-season series on pay-TV service Sky Italia, which he directed. He most recently directed another local hit titled “Gli Anni Più Belli” (“The Best Years”), about the vicissitudes of four friends from the 1980s onwards.

“Here Now” is being produced by Leone Film Group’s Lotus Production outfit in tandem with RAI Cinema, which will release the film in Italy.

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