Gunther’s Millions documents the behind-the-scenes truth of the life of the world’s richest dog, Gunther, and his caretaker, Maurizio Mian. The docuseries is now streaming on Netflix.
Gunther VI, the descendant of the Gunther bloodline, is a multi-millionaire German Shepherd. He lives a luxurious life and owns several properties and cars, among other things.
His ancestor, Gunther IV, was the pet dog of Carlotta Liebenstein, a German countess. She married a professor who owned a pharmaceutical company, which made them extremely rich.
Her only son, Gunther, killed himself at the age of 26, as he was suffering from depression. The countess then left all her wealth to her dog. Gunther and his heirs inherited the fortune from the countess, who had no close relatives of her own.
Gunther’s caretaker is a man named Maurizio Mian, who is famous in Tuscany. He specialized in pharmacology and was then a university professor until the age of 37.
The countess was good friends with Maurizio’s mother. She was appointed as the original caretaker of Gunther. Maurizio took that responsibility upon himself when she was no longer fit to be the caretaker.
The Gunther Trust left by the countess owns the Gunther corporation that owns all the assets like properties and stakes in companies. Maurizio is the one who makes important decisions related to the Gunther Trust; simply put, he gets what he wants.
Gunther is unlike any other dog in the world. He made an album with his own band called the Gunther Group. In 2000, Gunther even bought Madonna’s house in Miami.
The countess’ will states that the second beneficiary of the trust, after Gunther, would be the Gunther Group, a musical group based on Gunther. Therefore, Maurizio creates a group of people who would sing, dance, and live in that newly bought house with Gunther.
This entertainment group is called the Burgundians. The casting requirements for this group are extremely strange and represent the idea of beauty that Maurizio wanted this group to reflect.
Carla, Maurizio’s now ex-wife, was the untitled leader of the group. She is Maurizio’s right-hand person even today. They even had a son together, who was also named Gunther.
When this group started living in the house with Gunther, they were the subject of Maurizio’s experiment. He wanted to study this group to find the answer to the question of what makes people happy.
He claimed that before the countess passed away, it was one of her wishes to research and experiment in order to find the cause of human happiness, as her own son could not find it.
The group, which is formed to sing and dance, never releases a single song. It is instead a symbol of power, wealth, and a certain idea of beauty. The members are encouraged to have frequent sexual relationships with each other.
Barry Morse, a man with no scientific background, is the research associate studying this group at all times. He asks them personal and uncomfortable questions.
The group has to follow a lifestyle and abide by what is called the 13 Commandments that were stated in the trust. These included not being conservative and adopting science as the only useful tool, among others.
The neighbors do not approve of the kind of lifestyle that this group is leading in that house and petition against it, bringing Maurizio’s experiment to an end.
Maurizio then moves to Italy. Using the trust, he opens a nightclub to observe the concept of happiness in social situations among young people. Gunther also becomes the owner of a soccer team, and Maurizio appoints stars from the adult entertainment industry to be the face of the team.
When the rich who were using Liechtenstein, a country that was considered the tax haven for the rich, to hide their wealth come under scrutiny, Gunther Corporation’s account also comes to the attention of the authorities.
It is then revealed that Maurizio’s mother’s company, Istituto Gentili, became one of the top companies after the discovery of a drug, Fosamax, that was very effective in curing bone diseases.
Maurizio’s mother sold the company, and to evade taxes, sent the money to Liechtenstein. As it was illegal in Italy, she trusted the countess, a foreigner, to transfer the money in her name; although the account was in her name, the real owner was Maurizio’s mother.
The two women decided to make the dog the heir so that Maurizio’s mother, the caretaker, would get to use it the way she wants after the countess’ death. To make the trust legitimate, an attorney, Caryl Lashley, was appointed as the trustee.
The Italian government gets the revenue back by offering amnesty to Maurizio in exchange for paying the tax, and he faces no consequences for hiding the money. He gets full control of the wealth after his mother’s death in 2011.
Maurizio then creates another group, comprising celebrities, called the Magnificent 5 in Italy to continue his experiment. The group included Fabrizio Corona, a celebrity who was extremely popular in Italy.
Emanuel, another member of the group, comes up with the idea of a necklace that represents five fields in five different colors. These fields are considered to be the best ones in relation to human existence.
The group wears these necklaces and is encouraged to advance in these fields. When the actions of a member enact the performance of an activity from one of these fields, the necklace would light up with the light representing that field.
The aim of the experiment was to create a utopia of human happiness. Maurizio’s aim was to create a perfect human through the union of genetically perfect people.
The child from such a union would be raised in an environment like this, where it would be surrounded by happiness and would grow up to be nothing but happy and content.
Maurizio then has a daughter with Cristina, one of the members of the group. The child is initially claimed to be Gunther’s daughter, which results in a public backlash. She is raised by all the members of the group to make the concept of family modern.
The question then arises of how the countess fits into this experiment. Furthermore, there is no evidence that proves the existence of the countess.
Gunther’s Millions ending explained in detail:
Who is the real owner of Gunther III?
Maurizio finally admits that there was never a German countess. The pictures that he claimed to be the countess’ were the pictures of his aunt. The countess’ son, Gunther, was a figure of Maurizio’s imagination.
Maurizio himself suffers from depression, and at a point in life, he was fascinated with the idea of suicide, so he created the figure of Gunther, who was a projection of Maurizio’s thoughts and ideas.
As there was no German countess, Gunther III, who was said to have inherited her fortune, is revealed to be the pet dog of Maurizio’s ex-girlfriend, Antonella. Maurizio loved Gunther III, but the dog was suffering from an incurable disease and further developed osteoporosis.
Maurizio started treating the dog with the drug he was developing. It worked and Gunther’s health improved. Maurizio used Gunther to publicize the drug because he believed that the National Commission was biased towards some drugs and promoted them.
When the story of Gunther’s cure stopped getting media attention, Maurizio created the story of the German countess and her dog Gunther, as it was at this time that a trusted German friend of his mother, who was helping her evade taxes, passed away.
Maurizio and Antonella broke up, and as Gunther III was dying, Maurizio got a puppy born from the same line as Gunther III and named it Gunther IV, the dog that inherited a fortune.
What happens to Forteriva?
To keep up the charade, an heir is always needed to be the next one that would take Gunther’s position. A company called Forteriva is set up to take care of breeding Gunther’s successors.
Alarico Sgroi is a great breeder who is entrusted with this job. However, he fails to take care of the dogs there. They are severely neglected; they are kept in dark, dirty, and small cages. An employee, Luca Palandri, finally reports this to the police.
The police intervene. 52 dogs are rescued and set up for adoption. Maurizio claims that he does know what went wrong, as he never got involved with the way Alarico worked.
Maurizio wants to buy an island in the Bahamas because he plans to open an animal sanctuary, where the animals will get to live in peace, on the island soon.
Does Maurizio find happiness?
Maurizio’s social experiment affected many individuals who participated in them; it changed the way these people used to live and view society.
However, Maurizio realizes that one can experience happiness here and there, but no one can be happy forever. He does not regret anything, as he believes he has had pleasant experiences and his life has been good.
Does Gunther III have clones?
Maurizio agrees when he is asked if he wants Gunther III’s story to continue, as it has helped him cope with depression for all these years. He does not know what will be Gunther’s future or legacy, but he hopes that the principles of his experiments will be passed down to others.
However, Maurizio admits that Gunther III was never cloned, which means that Gunther IV and the other heirs are not clones of Gunther III. He only said that he was cloning dogs to sell the idea by making it interesting and surprising people.
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