A forthcoming limited series about the making of Bernardo Bertolucci‘s Last Tango in Paris is in the works from CBS Studios and Greg Silverman’s Stampede Ventures. Variety‘s Naman Ramachandran reports that the series, written by Jeremy Miller and Daniel Cohn, will span the 18 months before, during and after the production of Tango, and will be told through the lens of those at the center of the events — stars Maria Schneider, Marlon Brando and Bertolucci.”

Ramachandran gets it dead wrong, however, by stating that Bertolucci “admitted” that the film’s infamous anal rape scene film “was not consensual” as far as Schneider was concerned. I repeat — DEAD WRONG. Bertolucci never said that the scene itself (which was scripted) was non-consensual — the only surprise or non-consensual aspect was the use of butter as a lubricant.

In a 12.3.16 Variety piece by Seth Kelley, Bertolucci said that “I had been, in a way, horrible to Maria because I didn’t tell her what was going on” — i.e., by not telling her about the butter. And yet, the late director added, he didn’t regret shooting the scene. “I didn’t want Maria to act her humiliation, her rage. I wanted Maria to feel, not to act, the rage and humiliation. Then she hated me for her whole life.”

Two days after the Kelley interview, on 12.5.16, Bertolucci clarified to Variety‘s Nick Vivarelli:

“I would like, for the last time, to clear up a ridiculous misunderstanding that continues to generate press reports about Last Tango in Paris around the world,” Bertolucci stated. “[Three] years ago at the Cinematheque Francaise someone asked me for details on the famous butter scene. I specified, but perhaps I was not clear, that I decided with Marlon Brando not to inform Maria that we would [use] butter. We wanted her spontaneous reaction to that improper use [of the butter]. That is where the misunderstanding lies.

“Somebody thought, and thinks, that Maria had not been informed about the violence on her. That is false!”

Bertolucci explained that “Maria knew everything because she had read the script, where it was all described. The only novelty was the idea of the butter.”

The sexual penetration of Schneider by Brando was simulated, of course.