The news that the main cast members of The Sopranos were reuniting for a one-off children’s movie was as exciting to HBO fans and box set enthusiasts as it is for the actual target demographic. Marvista Entertainment’s president Fernando Szew is hoping to use that enthusiasm to secure sales for TV movie Nicky Deuce.
“It’s definitely great for the kids’ demographic but also has the added element of a group of characters that have a huge standing with many adults. This is a very family friendly movie,” he says.
Marvista and Canada’s R&R Productions are coproducing, with broadcast partners Nickelodeon and YTV both active in script development. Steve Schirripa, who played underboss Bobby Baccalieri in The Sopranos, is among the executive producers having originally created Nicky as a (now published) children’s book. It was down to his influence that James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli, Vincent Curatola and Tony Sirico all appear.
The telefilm stars iCarly’s Noah Munck as a sheltered teenager who moves in with his uncle (Schirripa) in Brooklyn and unintentionally develops a tough guy reputation, while simultaneously learning some home truths.
“We feel fantastic about this one,” says Szew. “The whole experience of working with Steve has been really phenomenal.”
The film is currently close to completion and testing of footage has been “received really positively, hitting all the levels we hoped it would as a comedy with some great slapstick moments,” says Szew.
It’s for this reason Marvista was at MIPTV in Cannes targeting a slate of second window, VOD, DVD, home entertainment and digital rights at buyers with family slots on non-thematic channels, along with the usual children’s network suspects. “This is a comedy coming-of-age story, older skewing than Home Alone but in the same vein,” says Szew.
The show: Nicky Deuce
The producers: Marvista Entertainment, R&R Productions
The distributor: Marvista Entertainment
The broadcasters: Nickelodeon (US and global channels), YTV
Concept: A nerdy teen staying with his uncle in Brooklyn unwittingly gains a tough guy reputation and learns some interesting family secrets along the way