Los Angeles-based Secuoya Studios is developing a new series version of “El Zorro” in collaboration with John Gertz – founder of Zorro Productions and a producer on “The Mask of Zorro” and “The Legend of Zorro” movies titles – along with former Sony execs Andy Kaplan and Jesús Torres and Miami-based Secuoya Studios exec Sergio Pizzolante. Secuoya Studios will serve as the series’ lead producer.
“This is one of the biggest IPs, not only in the Spanish-speaking territories, but the world,” said David Martínez, Secuoya director of fiction, adding that the new version will update the franchise’s characters with reference to modern times and include a “large female presence.” Scripts, by Spain’s Carlos Portela (“Velvet Collection”), are completed.
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“El Zorro” marks the banner project at Secuoya Studios, which was introduced to investors at an online presentation Thursday hosted by James Costos, the company’s L.A-based president.
Other series projects in development at the production house include “The School of Americas,” based on the novel by Lesley Gill; and a project with “Closer” creator James Duff and “Underworld” star Kevin Grevioux, based on a soon-to-be published comic-book by Grevioux about a LatinX woman super hero.
Sequoya Studios is also preparing an adaptation of the book “La pérdida del paraiso,” by Jose Luis Muñoz, about Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas. U.S., Spanish and Latin American broadcasters and a platform are backing the show, said Martinez.
Secuoya is co-producing “La Isla” with Chile’s Tiki Pictures, headed by Miguel Asensio. An Easter Island-set thriller, “La Isla” is set to roll on Aug. 21, directed by Guillermo Amoedo, co-writer of the Eli Roth directed “Knock Knock” from a screenplay by Spain’s Eligio Montero (“Bunuel in the Labyrinth of Tortoises”) and Chile’s Boris Quercia (“Sexo Con Amor”).
Also in the pipeline, co-produced with Infinita Films, is a horror series with “Money Heist” star Alvaro Morte, directed by [“REC”] helmer Jaume Balgueró, which Morte will help produce, and an untitled series helmed by Javier Ruiz Caldera (“Superlopez”), and produced with Spain’s Morena Films.
Head-quartered in Los Angeles, but with offices in Miami, Mexico City, Bogotá, Santiago de Chile, Lima and Madrid, Sequoia Studios looks to play off its history as a “top destination for film and TV productions because of its beautiful and diverse landscapes, its great weather and top tier talent that works there in front of and behind the camera,” said Costos. He added: “Now, most importantly, with its recent tax incentives which the Spanish government approved in May, Spain is having a Renaissance moment.”
Also producing feature films – via Eduardo Campoy’s Alamo Producciones – and unscripted projects, Secuoya Studios’ business plan sees it producing, co-producing and offering production services, targeting markets and partners in the U.S., Latin America and Europe, creating content in Spanish and in English, and participating in 35 projects annually, with a total investment of €125 million ($151 million) a year, Secuoya announced on Thursday.
The lineup annoncement, Secuoya Studios first, comes just days after parent Secuoya Group anounced a €70 million ($85 million) credit line extended by Pricoa Private Capital, to fuel the group’s expansion. Headed by Raul Berdones, Secuoya has launched Madrid Content City, a studio complex just north of Madrid which houses Netflix’s first European Production Hub.
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