Calling Mil Máscaras! Robert Rodriguez is ready to luchar…
The 45-year-old Mexican American filmmaker’s El Rey Network has partnered with television producer Mark Burnett to bring Lucha Libre wrestling, and a new league, to the United States.
It all begins with a weekly one-hour series featuring a new Lucha Libre AAA league, premiering on El Rey Network in the second half of 2014, El Rey vice chairman Scott Sassa announced at the TV Press Tour 2014.
Burnett’s One Three Media is partnering with the leading lucha libre league in Mexico, Lucha Libre AAA, and FactoryMade Ventures. Also joining, through their interests in Lucha Libre AAA, are Antonio Cue Sanchez-Navarro and Latin America’s largest production group, Alex Garcia’s AG Studios.
“I’m at the point in my career where I could probably try anything. I’ve earned that right,” Burnett told TV critics at the press tour. “This is building a bona fide sport within America. Clearly the Hispanic culture is really growing (here),” he said, noting it’s the No. 2 most popular sport in Mexico, behind only soccer. “Why wouldn’t you bring Mexico’s No. 2 sport to America? This is a long-term, big play for us.”
Storylines and masks are characteristic of the sport Burnett said, explaining that the logline for the U.S. introduction revolves around five of the sport’s stars who’ve discovered a secret plot that’s going to destroy the very foundation of the sport and they’ve been exiled to America.
In addition to launching the weekly series, the new venture will develop monthly and quarterly specials and live pay-per-view lucha libre events, as well as potential merchandising, licensing and product integration opportunities for the league.
Lucha libre marks a return to arena-based sports events for the award-winning Burnett, who previously produced five seasons of the unscripted boxing series The Contender.
El Rey Network, is the recently launched 24 hour English-language entertainment network founded by Rodriguez.
It targets renegades 18-49 with adrenaline-infused content including original signature dramas, feature films, grindhouse genre, cult classic action, horror/sci fi and next generation sports.