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Starzplay, Sony Pictures TV preps Spanish multi-lingual drama Xrey

Lionsgate-owned streamer Starzplay and Sony Pictures Television (SPT) are developing an eight-part, multi-lingual  drama called Xrey about the life and reign of Spain’s King Juan Carlos I, who abdicated abruptly in 2014 after four decades.

The project is being led creatively by Howard Gordon (Homeland, 24) and Alex Gansa (Homeland), founders of US production company Gordon & Gansa, who are executive producing through their overall deal with SPT. Glenn Geller, president of Gordon & Gansa, is also an executive producer.

Gordon & Gansa is developing the series alongside Spanish prodco Weekend Studio. Xrey is being produced in association with SPT International Production.

The series is based on a critically acclaimed Spanish podcast produced by Alvaro de Cózar and Toni Garrido. The podcast features testimony and insight from prime ministers, leading historians and investigative journalists. Since it launched in May 2020, it has been one of Spain’s most-streamed podcasts on Spotify.

The concept for the TV adaptation was created by Lola Guerrero and Tomás Cimadevilla, with Cimadevilla and Juan Domínguez attached to produce for Madrid-based Weekend Studio. The series will be penned by Helena Medina (23-F: El día más difícil del rey), Susana López Rubio (La Templanza) and Javier Holgado (La Templanza).

The announcement comes as Starzplay’s international footprint continues to expand. Since May 2018, the streaming platform has launched in 60 territories, with Starzplay putting a particular focus on local-language coproductions in Europe and Mexico over the past year.

“Our commitment to creating premium local-language content for a global audience is unwavering and this innovative producing partnership with SPT, Weekend Studio, Story Lab and an incredible creative team for XRey embodies Starzplay’s dedication to continuously enrich our offerings and explore new and provocative international stories,” said Superna Kalle, president, international networks at Starz.

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