“Talkies,” from “Luis Miguel” producer Gato Grande, will be presented at the first annual Iberseries Co-Production & Financing Forum on September 28 with “Money Heist” star Alvaro Morte attached to the star.
The time period covered by “Talkies” — from 1930 to 1934 — was unusual in that it was before dubbing or subtitling technology was available, so foreign-language versions of English-language films were shot on the same sets as the originals.
The 8 x 45″ series is directed by “Money Heist” helmer Alex Rodrigo and was developed in collaboration with Catalonia’s Veranda (“Merli”). It follows the production of ‘talkies’ in Spanish, some of which were regarded as superior to their English-language counterparts, such as the Spanish version of Bela Lugosi’s “Dracula.” In the Spanish production, Morte will portray actor Carlos Villarias, who played Dracula.
Maximiliano “Tate” Sanguine, vice president of development and creative production at Gato Grande/MGM, said, “We’ve got 40% covered and are seeking partners from the U.S., Spain, and/or Latin America to complete the financing.” The grandiose project will reportedly be shot in both Mexico and the United States.
Among Gato Grande’s 55 high-concept projects, “Talkies” is one of five with a Spanish connection. Twenty of these 55 projects are written in English for the Anglo-Saxon market, while the other thirty-five are all written in Spanish for the Spanish-speaking market, with five of these being a co-development with Spain. Sanguine anticipates three projects to enter production in the near future, and while the pandemic slowed down production, it helped them build a stronger pipeline.
MGM, which was purchased by Amazon for $8.5 billion in March, owns 50% of the bilingual company with locations in Los Angeles and Mexico. Currently, there is no first-look deal between Sanguine and Prime Video, so the company is free to shop around its projects.
The production company that gave us “Luis Miguel: The Series” has also cast Osvaldo Benavides of “The Good Doctor” in the lead role of their upcoming drama series, “Las Mil Vidas” (“A Thousand Lives”). The story of “Las Mil Vidas,” written by Marina Seresesky (“The Open Door”) and set to be directed by her, is based on the true story of a woman in Madrid whose 8-year-old son disappears.
A psychic contacts her four years later to tell her that a young Mexican boy has been drawing the plaza where her son vanished, along with his name and the Spanish flag. She gets in touch with the Mexican reporter (named Benavides) who spoke with the teen.
In addition to assisting her in locating the boy, he also introduces her to a group of reincarnated Mexicans known as “Encores” who work to aid those in similar situations. As soon as she sees the boy, she feels drawn to him. She brings him back to Spain with the expectation that he will lead her to the gravesite of her son.
Success in the marketplace for “Las Mil Vidas” includes a first place at the 2019 CIIF market in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and selection by the Spanish film institute ICAA to represent Spain at the 2020 Marché du Film.
Marcela Said (“The Summer of Flying Fish,” “Los Perros”) of Chile has written, directed, and will showrun the play “Breves Amores Eternos” (which is set in Mexico and Spain). Series. Adapted from Pedro Mairal’s eponymous novel, the story follows a wide range of women whose romantic histories intertwine. Kapow, based in Buenos Aires, is a co-producer.
As for other Spanish-language shows, Jaime Llorente (“Money Heist,” “Elite”) has been cast as the lead role of Patricio in “El Malecón,” a romantic saga set in pre-revolutionary Cuba. Based on the novel “El Encanto” by Susana López Rubio of Madrid, the series follows Patricio as he escapes Francoist Spain to Havana, where he meets Gloria, a spy for the democratic liberal party who is married to a powerful Mafioso. Some episodes will have Alberto Ruiz Rojo at the helm.
The episodes of “Reinas de la Tele” (Television Queens), Gato Grande’s fifth Spanish co-developed project, will be directed by Lopez Rubio, Juan Beiro, and Javier Holgado Vicente. Lopez Rubio’s original concept successfully marries the reality show with the whodunit mystery.
Caty, who is about to film the fourth season of her Kardashian-esque reality show, opens the series by discovering a dead body in her bed. When the camera operator sees her dragging the body to the basement, he agrees to keep the secret and aid her in her search for the murderer. All of the filmings will take place in Spain. Sanguine, who praised the story’s ingenious turns, expressed hope that it would be ready for packaging by the end of the year.