Titled Yo no soy Mendoza and produced by Sony Pictures Television, the premium series was the last project by the late Colombian screenwriter Fernando Gaitán. Arriaga will be the creative leader of the development.
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) announced that Guillermo Arriaga will be the creative leader in the development of Yo no soy Mendoza, the latest project by the famous Colombian writer Fernando Gaitán, creator of Yo soy Betty, la fea, considered the most successful telenovela in history.
Arriaga (Amores perros, 21 grams, Babel, The Burning Plain) takes over from Gaitán in the drama series that will have eight one-hour episodes. The project development agreement was announced shortly before Gaitán’s unexpected death.
Ana Bond, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of International Production in Latin America and the Hispanic US at SPT, commented: “We are very excited to have Guillermo on board to guide the prestigious creative duo of writers Germán Maggiori (Amongst Men, selected at Berlinale 2021) and Marcos Osorio Vidal (Los simuladores, Apache and El Jardin de Bronze, nominated for the International Emmy 2020), as well as Adrián Zurita (Nosotros, los Nobles) as creative consultant on this project”.
“Arriaga is truly one of the greatest talents of our generation and his unique narrative universe is perfect for guiding two of the region’s most talented writers to honor Gaitán’s vision for the series,” added Bond.
Guillermo Arriaga said: “Fernando Gaitán, my Colombian brother, called me before he died. He wanted to ask me if I could advise him on a series that he was developing for Sony. I accepted immediately. Not just because I loved him but because I admired him. He was a hugely talented writer. For this reason, in honor of my promise to Fernando, I will continue as an advisor on the series that he designed and created”.
Arriaga is known for his complex and emotionally provocative narrative of human lives under intense pressure, as seen in his work as a screenwriter with three-time Oscar winner Alejandro González Iñárritu: Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Babel.
Arriaga received numerous honors for his work on Babel, including an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay, as well as nominations from the Writers Guild of America, BAFTA, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The film garnered a total of 7 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.
Arriaga’s non-linear way of telling stories always seeks the heart of human emotion: the challenges of communication, the importance of love, the consequences of our actions, the contradictions of human nature, the clashes between different cultural points of view. and the enigma of contemporary isolation, both physical and emotional.
More recently, Arriaga’s latest novel, Salvar el fuego, received the 2020 Alfaguara Novel Prize, one of the most prestigious in the Spanish language.