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Endemol Shine Boomdog, Pantaya, Cholawood team to adapt Tolstoy novel

Banijay-owned Endemol Shine Boomdog is partnering with US streaming platform Pantaya and LA-based Cholawood Productions on a Spanish-language adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina.

Kate del Castillo

The six-part project called A Beautiful Lie stars Kate del Castillo (La Reina del Sur), who also serves as an executive producer through her Cholawood Productions banner. Spanish writers Almudena Ocaña and Aurora García Tortosa (Elite) are also attached to the series.

The coproduction is itself based on Endemol Shine Australia’s adaptation of Anna Karenina, which debuted in 2015. The Australian series, The Beautiful Lie (6×60’), was commissioned by ABC Australia.

The novel has attracted significant attention in recent years, with Netflix also announcing in May that it has commissioned a Russian-language series based on the book.

In the new Spanish-language version, del Castillo plays a gold medal-winning Olympic diver and Mexican national hero, who falls in love with a young musician and goes on a journey of self-discovery.

It is the latest original commission from LA-based streamer Pantaya, which serves Hispanic and Spanish-language viewers in the US. The company also recently partnered with Starzplay, Fremantle and Chilean prodco Fabula on Spanish-language sci-fi thriller El Refugio.

Del Castillo’s Cholawood Productions has an overall production deal with Mexico City-based Endemol Shine Boomdog. The prodco will coproduce the series, which is scheduled to begin filming in Mexico early next year. Carmen Cervantes and Jessica Maldonado, who founded Cholawood with del Castillo, are also executive producers.

Del Castillo’s acting credits include La Reina del Sur (Telemundo/Netflix), which is currently in production on its third season. She also recently wrapped another Telemundo series, Armas de Mujer, set to stream on NBCUniversal’s Peacock. Last year, she starred opposite Will Smith in Sony’s Bad Boys for Life.

Endemol Shine Boomdog’s production credits include Súbete a Mi Moto (Amazon Prime Video), Nicky Jam: El Ganador (Netflix) and recently announced comedy series Todo por Lucy, a re-imagined version of classic comedy I Love Lucy, for Prime Video.

Last month, the company appointed producer and director Jerry Rodriguez as its head of scripted content and senior VP.


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