Biopics Continue to Make the News in 2018

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by Sebastián Amoroso the 13/04/2018
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In recent years, biopics based on popular Hispanic idols have established themselves as a key genre at a pan-regional level, and in 2018 they continue growing strong. ttvnews offers a preview of what's coming.

The boom of series based on the lives of controversial and popular figures from various countries in Latin America has established itself as a major trend.

An nowadays, far from being exhausted, the phenomenon is as strong as ever, and continues to add new idols and stories that help confirm the genre has much more to offer in the region.

During the Fresh TV Fiction conference held at Miptv 2018, the firm highlighted this genre as a trend. "22% of all new biopics come from Latin America, a region that has generated 7% of the new fiction series," said Virigina Mouseler, CEO of The Wit, during the conference in Cannes.

Thus, the year in Latin America began with the anticipated Sandro de América (Telefe/Viacom/Telefilms), which has already aired successfully on Telefe in Argentina, and is currently on air on Chile's Canal 13. It will also air soon in countries like: Colombia (Caracol Television), Peru (América Televisión), Uruguay (Seata Canal 10), Bolivia and Ecuador.

In addition to the series on Sandro, The Magic Eye is currently developing up to five fiction projects, including a biopic and at least three new projects with very strong ambitions "in terms of budget and brand".

"But we want to announce them when we have things more clear in terms of story. We already have the rights and we've started working on the development, but since that varies, we don't know which show will get produced first," told Juan Parodi, president of The Magic Eye, to ttvnews.

And on April 22, Luis Miguel will make its debut. The series is a co-production between MGM and Gato Grande Productions that will premiere on Telemundo for viewers in the US and Puerto Rico; and on Netflix for Latin America and Spain.

According to, Chris Ottinger, president of Distribution and Global Acquisitions at MGM, in addition to the Luis Miguel series, Gato Grande is already working on at least three new projects, including a new biographical series.

"Gato has three or four big projects that we're going to be launching in the coming weeks. We'll be talking to our buyers at the LA Screenings, hopefully after a very succesful launch of Luis Miguel".

In turn, Caracol Television has super-series Bolivar, a story based on the life of Latin American hero Simón Bolívar, which will be introduced to the international market during the next edition of the Independent LA Screenings at the InterContiental hotel.

New independent production company Dopamine - launched by Benjamín Salinas, CEO of TV Azteca during Mipcom 2017 -, in association with Sony Pictures Television, has embarked on ambitious project María Magdalena, a 60-episode biopic based on the life of biblical figure. The show is already shooting in several locations in Colombia and Morocco.

For its part, Disney Media Distribution Latin America (DMDLA) continues adding to its lineup of biopics  that started with hit series Hasta que te conocí, based on the life of Juan Gabriel, "el divo de Juárez", which was followed by El César, focusing on Mexican boxer Julio César Chávez.

DMDLA is now producing El Secreto de Selena -although not a biopic, they clarified, it is based on a crucial part of Selena Quintanilla's life-, as well as Monzón, based on the tragic life of Argentine boxer Carlos Monzón and produced by Pampa Films in Argentina.

And as if that wasn't enough, DMDLA also has a new biopic on the life of the Spanish singer Isabel Pantoja in Spain. Such was confirmed to ttvnews by Leonardo Aranguibel, director of Production of the company, during Conecta Fiction 2017.

The show joins Gilda, a 13-episode series by Smilehood Media, Room 1520 Producciones and Glowstar Media, which was presented at Natpe Miami 2017 and builds up on hit Argentine film Gilda, based on the life of the singer.

In addition, production company THR3 Media Group - introduced at Natpe Miami 2018 by Bruce Boren, Tomás Darcyl and Ricardo Costianovsky - is currently producing its first series which follows the life of popular Mexican wrestling character El Santo.

"We are very proud to work with Bruce and we're grateful that El Hijo del Santo trusted us. It's an iconic series and it will become a huge success because we're going to give it all," said Tomás Darcyl, president of Telefilms.

It is also worth mentioning other projects that have already been announced and that are in development. Among those listed there's a series on Jesus by BTF Media as well as biblical telenovela Jesus that Record TV in working on in Brazil.

According to Delmar Andrade, Director of International Sales at Record TV, the scripts are currently being developed, while the search is on for the cast, locations and costumes. The idea, he added, is to start shooting by mid-2018 for a 2019 premiere in Brazil.

FOX Networks Group Latin America is also preparing Santa Evita - alongside Spain's Movistar+- and InFidel, based on the lives of María Eva Duarte de Perón and Fidel Castro, respectively. The latter will narrate Castro's intimacy through the women who were part of his love life.

Other projects that have been announced include two biopics about Argentine soccer star Diego Armando Maradona, one announced by Telefe and another by BTF Media, together with Dhana Media and Latin World Entertainment.

In dialogue with ttvnews, BTF Media's Francisco Cordero revealed it was footballer's representative who sought out the production company for the production of a series about his life, which will also be the first biopic authorized by Maradona. As reported, shooting is taking place in Spain and Italy.

These projects are joined by reports from several media in Argentina and Uruguay, which suggest Amazon could also be shooting a series based on the life of Maradona in some Uruguayan locations with actor Juan Palomino as a protagonist.

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