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Netflix ramps up Spain, Mexico originals

Global streamer Netflix has unveiled a US$300m investment in 50 original projects in Mexico, three more green lights and an expansion in Spain, plus two more commissions from its US base.

Diego Ávalos

Netflix presented its slate of original productions filmed in Mexico, which will premiere this year, at a virtual upfront presentation yesterday.

Francisco Ramos, VP of content for Latin America at Netflix, unveiled a slate of new scripted projects that includes adrenalin-fuelled Dale Gas, which is being written by David Figueroa, Itzel Lara and Alfredo Mendoza and follows a racing driver who returns to his family garage business following an accident.

El Comediante centres on a failing comedian who sees a chance to make a new start when his best friend asks him to be the donor that will allow her to have a child. Release dates for both shows have yet to be given.

Other scripted projects in the work include comedy Fondeados, written and directed by Marcos Bucay (Club de Cuervos), which follows two friends who become accidental entrepreneurs. Guerra de Vecinos is another comedy created by Carolina Rivera and Fernando Sariñana (Mother There Are Only Two), produced by Moisés Chiver (Club de Cuervos) and starring Vanessa Bauche and Ana Layevska.

Finally, Lemon Films (Monarca, Control Z) is working on La Venganza de las Juanas, written by Jimena Romero and Alejandro Reyes, which is about five women who do not know each other but share an identical birthmark.

A second season of drama series Control Z was confirmed for later this year, while stand-up comedy special Alan Saldaña: Encarcelado will premiere on June 6.

Also returning for second easons are Selena: The Series, created by Moisés Zamora and focusing on the story of Latin music superstar Selena Quintanilla, and murder mystery Who Killed Sara?, which will premiere on May 19, created and written by José Ignacio Valenzuela.

In unscripted, Netflix has also greenlit Jugando con fuego Latinoamérica, which will see a group of singles try to abstain from sexual activity for 40 days and 40 nights for a US$100,000 prize. Culinary docseries La Divina Gula has also been lined up.

In Spain, the streaming platform has said it will expand its production centre in Tres Cantos, Madrid, doubling its number of sets to 10 and adding post-production facilities. Netflix set up in in the audiovisual complex, which belongs to Grupo Secuoya, in 2019.

Diego Ávalos, VP of content for Netflix in Spain, said: “We are very proud to continue demonstrating our commitment to Spanish fiction. With this expansion, we will make the latest advances available to creators so that they can continue to tell great stories.”

Francisco Ramos

Ávalos also took advantage of World Book Day to announce three new originals based on literary works by Spanish authors. The company has not detailed whether they will be series or feature films, nor which production company will be in charge of each project.

The first sees Elísabet Benavent pair with the streamer for a third time on an adaptation of her novel A Perfect Story, a novel that questions self-demand as a synonym for happiness.

Netflix is also working on the adaptation of thriller The Snow Girl by Javier Castillo which follows a New York journalism student who investigates the disappearance of girl who went missing years before.

The third project is Hija Del Camino by Lucía-Asué Mbomío, a groundbreaking debut novel about identity, family ties and the fight against racism.

In the US, Netflix is in production on a documentary series following NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace as he competes for the newly formed 23XI Racing team.

The series will take viewers behind the scenes of the 2021 NASCAR season through the eyes of the only black driver at the top level of the sport. 300 Studios and Boardwalk Pictures are producing.

Finally, teen content creator collective Hype House – comprising Kouvr Annon, Nikita Dragun, Sienna Mae Gomez, Chase Hudson, Larri Merritt, Thomas Petrou, Alex Warren and Jack Wright – are set to star in a new as-yet untitled unscripted series that will reveal a rarely seen side of themselves.


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