Atresplayer Premium Renews ‘The Gypsy Bride,’ Consolidates as Spanish Series Champion (EXCLUSIVE)

Atresplayer Premium, the burgeoning OTT service behind HBO Max hit “Veneno,” has renewed “The Gypsy Bride” (“La novia gitana”), whose Season 1, from “Penny Dreadful” director Paco Cabezas, world premieres at the San Sebastian Film Festival. 

Atresmedia Television will produce with Banijay Iberia’s Diagonal TV, producer of Netflix hit “Heirs to the Land.”Produced by VIS with the participation of Atresmedia Television and the collaboration of the Diagonal TV, the first season of “The Gypsy Bride” will bow on Atresplayer Premium on Sept. 25. 

Directed in its totality by Cabezas, whose credits also include “American Gods,” Season 1 is set in a gypsy community on Madrid’s humble outskirts as homicide inspector Elena Blanco, (Nerea Barros, “Marshland”) is called in to investigate the torture and assassination of a young woman just before her wedding.

Channelling echoes of a Lorca tragedy, the series, shot with large visual ambition by Cabezas – mixing bold panoramics and hand-held camerawork for close-ups – adapts the first novel, “La Novia,” of the “La novia gitana,” a crime trilogy written by Carmen Mola (pseudonym of a writing trío formed by Jorge Díaz, Agustín Martínez and Antonio Mercero).  

Season 2 will adapt the second book in the series, “La red púrpura,” said José Antonio Antón, director of programming, content and digital at Atresmedia.

The same screenwriting team, led by head writer José Rodriguez (“The Plague,” “Diablero”), has now written four episodes. Cabezas will serve as an executive producer. The number of episodes he may direct has still to be determined, Antón told Variety. “This is a series which grabs you and won’t let go, and with spectacular production levels,” he added.

News of the renewal of “The Gypsy Bride” comes as Atresplayer Premium gears up for its most powerful spread ever at San Sebastian, screening a first episode of “The Gypsy Bride” and of “La Ruta,” another highly anticipated AP series, and teasing a trailer of “Cardo” 2, the second season of the breakout Spanish series, included among Variety’s best international TV shows of 2021. 

Scaling up rapidly from its 2019 launch, Atresplayer Premium is now the platform which bows most Spanish fiction, about 20 national titles a year taking in both originals – series only seen on the platform in Spain – and titles sourced from broadcast network Atresmedia, Antón said. It currently has about 45 series in various stages of production or development, he added.   

Set on Valencia’s La Ruta del Bakalao, a strip of venues which became one of the vibrant night club scenes not only in Spain but Europe, “La Ruta” is produced by Madrid’s Caballo Films, the production outfit whose partners include filmmaker Rodrigo Sorogoyen, director of Movistar Plus’ hit “Riot Police.”

Involving further Caballo partners such as Borja Soler as co-creator and co-director and “Riot Police” co-writer Eduardo Villanueva as one of the series’ producers, “La Ruta” begins in 1993 as five friends bid farewell and works back episode by episode to 1981 when they first visited legendary club Barraca. “The reverse structure allows the series “to ask how they got to what they became in the first episode as La Ruta declines,” said Antón. 

First screened at the San Sebastian Festival last year, “Cardo” is produced by “Veneno” creators Javier Calvo y Javier Ambrossi at Suma Content, Buendía Estudios and Atresmedia. 

Created by Claudia Costafreda, a writer on “Veneno,” and actor Ana Rujas, the  series impacted immediately through the sheer lack of inhibition as it charts the descent of its protagonist, Maria, played by Rus, into a daily routine of drugs, alcohol and casual sex as an escape from future-less life and seeming lack of self-respect.

“Cardo” Season 2 picks up María’s life three years later as she emerges from jail, seeing her world has changed, though she remains the same person, said Antón.   

Series in the pipeline for Atresplayer Premium include:

*“Los Protegidos: ADN,” the second season of a sequel to a famed 2012 Atresmedia original, about a group of super-powered kids, now adults in “ADN,” which bowed Sept. 9 at Victoria’s FesTVal.

*”Las noches de Tefía,” a comedy-musical by Miguel del Arco (“Las Furias”) set in a Francoist labor camp.

*”Zorras.” Produced by Atresmedia Television and Morena Films (“Everybody Knows”), and turning on three twenty-something women who create a secret group to fulfil their sexual fantasies.

*”Camilo Superstar,” a four-part bio of how Spanish singer Camilo Sesto brought “Jesus Christ Superstar” to Spain launching his own stardom. 

*”UPA Next,” A revival of the legendary Spanish musical drama “Un paso adelante,” a Spanish “Fame, from Atresmedia Television and The Mediapro Studio.

*”Déjate Ver,” a dramedy about a woman who literally begins to disappear, written and directed by Álvaro Carmona (“Gente Hablando”).

*”Vestidas de Azul,” the second part of “Veneno,” with Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi producing and directing.

*”No se lo digas a nadie,” (“Besos Marvin”), a five-part doc produced in house by Atresplayer marking is first true crime series. 

*”Drag Race España,”now in its third edition, a Spanish version of RuPaul’s “Drag Race” franchise.  

“Our series are not made thinking of international markets. We just try to make the best series possible, often local stories with local elements. But working with great stories with great characters, since emotions are the same the world over, we’ve had a lot of success in international,” Antón told Variety

He cited “Cardo,” sold to TelevisaUnivision’s ViX and Australia, with territories in Europe now closing as well, and “Alba,” Season 1, Netflix’s most-watched non English-language show in the world over July 18-24. 

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