Venetian Heat

Last Update: 08 July2004
You need a browser capable of viewing tables to see this page properly)

Rumours about Sean's involvement in Venetian Heat (originally referred to as Italian Heat) began when actor James Marsters announced at a convention in June 2003 that he would be starring in the film. The start date for principal photography was mentioned as September 2003. Sean and Derek Jacobi were mentioned by Marsters as being co-stars.

The buzz was picked up by assorted chat groups and some newswires, which led to articles in The Sun (UK), and a few other newspapers, magazines and online websites, which reported that Sean was going to play the part of a "gay Nazi soldier".

Additional cast members and information were supplied by a James Marsters website at the beginning of August 2003, however this information was later removed from the site, and at the time of this writing has not been re-instated. The page included the following cast members:

ADRIANO - James Marsters
FRANCO - Patrick Dempsey
DON GIORGIO - Derek Jacobi
FABIANI - Franco Nero
MARIO - Rupert Evans

The start date and location for principal photography was listed as October 27, 2003 in Papigno, Italy.

James Marsters later reported (at a Comic.con convention in August 2003) that Patrick Dempsey had dropped out of the production.

On September 24, 2003, it was officially announced that Sean's next project would be Disney/Touchstone's National Treasure, which was shortly due to begin principal photography in the US and Canada.

On October 2, 2003, "kdavid323" posted the following message to a James Marsters chat group:

"I was a very lucky girl last night and I got to attend the WB premiere party for "Angel" here in Los Angeles. Great event and the whole cast was there except for Alexis Denisof who apparently was filming for a very Wesley-centered episode."

"Met just about everyone and got photos with them, including James, and I talked to him for a bit. Told me that the movie is definitely NOT happening. They lost their financing so the whole thing is off."

No official press release confirming start of principal photography, production or cast members was ever issued by Torchlight Pictures, the production company behind Venetian Heat.

This situation remains unchanged as of March 26, 2004, in spite of information which pops up from time to time on the IMDB.

Update: July 8, 2004. Information on a Venetian Heat website seems to indicate filming will now begin in September 2004.

Sean is not involved in this project.

For a record of the discussions about Venetian Heat, please visit this chat group:

Yahoo - Venetian Heat

For a record of the discussions about Venetian Heat among James Marsters fans, please visit the following chat groups:

Marsters Mobsters
More Than Spike
The James Marsters Forum (1)
The James Marsters Forum (2)

The movie Venetian Heat was to be based on a play of the same name. The following information is taken from Torchlight Theatre's website (no longer active):

A play about the eroticism of fear ...

ITALY, SEPTEMBER 1943 - The country is in a shambles. The Fascists have surrendered and Nazi Germany is invading. On an isolated farm, a married couple hide two army deserters in their cellar. In the kitchen they eat, drink wine, play cards and allow passion to take control. In one of the hottest summers Italy has seen this century, hidden desires are revealed as Adriano's marriage to Caterina breaks down and he falls in love with the deserter, Franco. Based on a true story, this is a provocative play about wartorn love that is as stifling as that famed VENETIAN HEAT.

Evening Standard Review:
Claudio Macor's re-telling of his Italian grandparents' wartime experience under Nazi invasion is that most rare of fringe pearls: a touching original play met with a beautifully turned production.
Macor describes his drama as being about "the eroticism of fear", but for the spectator it is simply a sweetly lyrical love story.
Sensitively characterised, it is the tale of doleful Adriano and hardened Caterina locked in a sham marriage which is split open by two fugitive soldiers.
Adriano is seduced by the elder of the two, while Caterina falls for the prettier, more vulnerable youth. Then, with local Italian fascists in cahoots with the invading Germans, the drama develops just as you would hope, but not quite as you would expect.
Macor's direction is well paced and adroitly cast, while his attention to detail is as impressive as it is sustained. Phil Lea's softly lit set recreates a period rural kitchen with minimal clutter, and neither costumes nor actors are allowed to appear without bearing the stains and sweat of the long, hot summer of 1943.
In their turn, the cast embroider Macor's story with the fine detail of careful observation.
Gary Fannin's Adriano nicely captures the nervous strain of burgeoning desire, while Lisa D'Agostino as his neglected wife reveals the sadness beneath her embittered front.
Will Chitty as the gay stranger deconstructs their relationship with charm and determination, and Rupert Evans, as the naive youth plucking the flower of first love, is exquisitely gauche and idealistic. A wee gem.

Pink Paper Review:
You shouldn't fall into the trap of thinking that Venetian Heat is strictly a gay play. It's as much about straight relationships as gay ones, and despite its historical setting, strikes a chord with a modern audience.
Imagine, if you will, the oppressive heat and tension of an Italian country summer; that heat mingling with the fear as Mussolini's Fascists fall and the Nazis move in to invade. It is against this backdrop that Claudio Macor's dram unfolds.
The play is intimate and simple, revolving around four characters. Two desperate army deserters stumble into the decaying relationship of Adriano and Caterina Carbini. The younger deserter, Mario, falls for Caterina while the elder, Franco, sets his sights on Adriano. As escape plans are hatched, the Fascists, personified by the black-clad Signor Fabiani, become suspicious about the strangers that have been seen st the farmhouse.
It's a straight-forward narrative, moved along by some very skillful performances from an attractive, young cast. Lisa D'Agostino makes Caterina into a passionate, fiery character, gradually becoming more aware that her marriage is a sham and falling in love with Rupert Evans' naive, cute Mario. Gary Fannin as Adriano perfectly portrays the initial denial of his sexuality as he is faced with Franco's infatuation. Will Chitty is charismatic as Franco, making the most of a complex, well-written part.
Mention must be made of Phil Lea's incredible stage design. Making the best use of a small, intimate stage he has constructed a full Italian kitchen complete with working cooker and sink, enhancing the play's naturalistic feel no end. One word of advice: eat before you go, as the delicious aroma of the ragu Caterina cooks is liable to make your stomach rumble.
It's an intense and involving play, and you won't believe you've sat there for an hour and a half. Check it out and see what I mean.

Evening Standard Review:
Torchlight Theatre Company return to the pocket-sized stage located in the bowels of the Curtains Up pub and once again create a highly specific snapshot of an Italy now passed into history. In fact, Claudio Macor's new play, set on a farm during one baking 1940s summer, is based on a true story told to him by his Italian grandfather.
Caterina (the excellent Lisa D'Agostino) and Adriano (Gary Fannin) are a childless, young married couple trying to survive in a country torn apart by the treachery of the fascists and the grinding heel of occupying German troops. When first one Italian deserter breaks into their simple home, closely followed by another (a wounded young boy), the reasons for the tension in the marriage erupt in a way which profoundly alters their lives.
Saturnine Franco (Will Chitty) gravitates toward Adriano, while the boy, Mario (Rupert Evans - a dead ringer for a young Brad Pitt) cleaves to the maternal Caterina. Soon all four are happily existing in a cosy rustic menage complete with visits from the loacl priest (Neil MacLeod). But harbouring deserters is punishable by death and former friends will do anything to curry favour with the Germans.
Torchlight's aim is to present a 'living cinema' and their attention to detail, albeit on a shoe-string, plus the understated, naturalistic performances of the cast mean they come very close to achieving their objective. Director Macor, an expert in creating sexual tension between his players, is ably assisted by the atmospheric lighting of fellow Torchlight stalwart, Phil Lea. The proximity of the stage, designed as a perfectly authentic Italian peasant kitchen, draws in the audience ineluctably, making the final betrayal even more shocking.


Return to Rumours Main Page

Return to The Compleat Sean Bean Main Page