Two of Portugal’s most international production houses – SPi, producer of the country’s first Netflix Original series “Gloria,” and Caracol Protagonista – are teaming to co-produce police drama series project “O Último Lobo” (“The Last Wolf”).
The show tells the true story of Franklim Lobo, one of the greatest European drug lords, exploring his rise, and the corruption in the Portuguese police in the late 1990s. Portuguese filmmaker Bruno Gascon, whose credits include “Carga” and “Shadow,” is the writer-director.
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The eight-episode series focuses on Castilho, an honest police investigator with a dark past, who sees it as his personal mission to capture Lobo. He discovers during this investigation that what he defends is rotten, and that Portugal’s Judiciary Police – the national criminal investigation police agency – is an accomplice of the greatest Portuguese drug trafficker of all times.
Lobo, who came to be considered the baron of cocaine trafficking in Europe, escaped several times from justice in Portugal, Spain and Brazil.
It’s also the story of Ana, an archivist who was never given the opportunity to be a police investigator, but who ends up becoming the only person who believes in Castilho and who tries to help him.
“It is definitely not a ‘good guy vs. bad guy’ kind of story. It is a story about the ‘good vs. evil’ fight inside each person. It plays around the concept of how each one of us has two wolves inside, a good and a bad one. And the one that survives is the one that gets fed,” said Catarina Araujo, international co-productions assistant manager at SPi.
The show will be presented at the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions at Conecta Fiction & Entertainment, which runs in Toledo, Spain from June 21 to 24.
Its story takes place between Portugal, Spain and Brazil in an organic way. “We intend for this story to be produced in a Portuguese/Spanish/Brazilian co-production, taking into consideration the story’s plot. In this sense, our main goal would be to attract a Spanish co-producer, but we are happy to share the project and welcome anyone who wants to be a part of it,” Araujo said.
For SPi, the production arm of Portugal’s SP Televisão Group aimed at international co-productions, Spain is the country with which it has developed the strongest relationship in terms of co-production, and the region of Galicia in Northern Spain in particular.
Since 2017, SPi has been developing several fiction series, documentaries and non-scripted content in a co-production model with Spanish companies.
It co-produced “Dry Water,” a pioneering drive into premium TV production in Portugal, linking up with Galicia’s Portocabo (“Hierro,” “Rapa”), whose Season 1 and Season 2 aired on HBO, Portugal’s RTP and Spain’s TVG.
Further highlights in SPi’s connection with Spain take in the documentary “A Mais Longa Jornada” (“The Longest Voyage”), for Portugal’s RTP and Spanish public broadcasters TVE and ETB.
“The first reason is obvious: we are neighbors and it just becomes easier in terms of logistics. But besides that, we also enjoy working together; we have similar approaches and ways of storytelling; but we also complement each other and we bring something new to the table,” Araujo said.
“The Last Wolf” underscores a very productive alliance between SPi and Caracol Protagonista. Both companies are funding the development of the project.
“From the beginning, we started working together in order to capture support not only from Portugal, but worldwide. We both use our different know-how of the market in order to get the show up and running. It’s a great experience, since it is not often that Portuguese production companies work together in a co-production with the same goal: making a high-quality series for the international market,” Araujo said.
Caracol, co-founded in 2016, is led by producer Joana Domingues. Its shows have been sold to several regions and have received awards and nominations at several international festivals.
“This is definitely a relationship we want to keep investing in, and our strategy is to tell different stories in different parts of the country we still haven’t explored. Our goal is to follow good stories no matter where they take place and no matter where they come from,” Araujo added.
The attaching to “The Last Wolf” of Gascon, a Caracol co-founder alongside Domingues, suggests another strong argument for the project.
“Bruno has an impressive curriculum vitae in Portugal and internationally as a director and screenwriter, and has recently been nominated for a Sophia Award in Portugal. We are very glad to have his creative input in directing as well, as he is very skilled in telling complex and exciting stories such as this one,” Araujo said.
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