Spanish public broadcaster RTVE, Prime Video and Telekom Srbija have boarded “Cicatriz,” a high-end action thriller, based on the best-selling Spanish novel of the same name by Juan Gómez-Jurado.
It is a first, large-scale co-production between Spain and the Adriatic countries, the partners said.
Spanish powerhouse Plano a Plano and Mexico’s Dopamine will produce, in collaboration with Asacha Media Group and Adrenalin.
It is the latest project to be packaged by Asacha Media Group, the pan-European production studio.
The Serbian production company Adrenalin will serve as filming partners in Serbia.
Representatives from the new partners were at Mip on Tuesday to talk up the landmark project to press and buyers.
Adapted by Pablo Roa and Fernando Sancristóbal, co-writers of Netflix hit megabit “La Casa De Papel” (“Money Heist”) and Verónica Marzá (“Toy Boy,” “Diablero”), the eight-part drama is scheduled to go into production at the end of the year, filming in Spain and Serbia.
Award-winning Miguel Angel Vivas (“Money Heist,” “Vis a Vis,” “Extinction”) has been confirmed as the lead director.
Plano a Plano and Dopamine, based in Mexico City and Madrid, share the adaptation rights of the global best-seller from Gómez-Jurado who is the most-read Spanish thriller author worldwide.
The book is a high-octane thriller about a brilliant but lonely entrepreneur on the verge of making his millions, who meets a woman on a long-planned revenge mission.
Gómez-Jurado is hugely popular in Southern and Eastern Europe, including the Adriatic Territories. The book’s original locations of Chicago and Russia have been changed to Bilbao and Belgrade.
Beginning next month, the shoot will include three weeks in Belgrade and 16 weeks in Spain.
Sales begin at MipCom. TVE is handling worldwide distribution, excluding the Balkans which is being handled by Telekom Srbija.
Esther Agraso, head of the international department at Plano a Plano told Variety: “It made total sense to get co-producers on board. The original story takes place in Chicago and Russia. But given politics, I found out the book was very successful in Serbia. We presented it to Telekom Srbija. They were aware of the book and were willing to do co-productions. What we did was to adapt the story to make it work more for Serbia, so the Russian names will be played by Serbian actors and it will be partly set in Belgrade. We thought of Bilbao and that the story could be easily adapted in this city.”
Co-Productions are part of a changing business model for Plano Plano.
“We have always produced originals, but the most common business model in Spain is fully commissioned where the producer doesn’t retain much.
Agraso added: “In order to explore other business models, co-producing gives us the opportunity to retain IP, rights and not to lose control of the project. I think the boom in production is over. If you want to invest less and produce more, co- production is the way.”
“It’s the first time Spain and the Balkans have done a co-production. It’s a way to open markets for us,” she added.
“Telekom Srbija, as the biggest telco operator in Southeast Europe, is thrilled that we have established cooperation on this level for the first time in the Adriatic countries,” said Aleksandra Martinović, director of the Multimedia Division of Telekom Srbija.
“Thanks to this project, we are now proud partners with a globally respected team of producers and writers, each with an incredibly strong background, and esteemed commissioners like Prime Video and RTVE. What makes this project truly authentic is the engaging storyline set in Serbia and with Serbian actors.”