Endemol Shine Boomdog is vlad about Carlos Fuentes’ work…
The Mexico City-based production company, a unit of Banijay Americas, has acquired the rights to the late Mexican novelist and essayist’s vampire novel “Vlad.”
Jerry Rodriguez, Endemol Shine Boomdog’s senior VP and head of scripted content, and Clara Machado are developing the project for Endemol Shine Boomdog.
Carl Zitelmen is adapting Fuentes’ novel for television.
The story follows the mythical vampire who arrives in Mexico City in search of the soul of his beloved Mina, reincarnated as a Mexican woman. To his consternation, Vlad finds her inhabiting a progressive liberal who is not impressed at all by him. Having lost touch with the modern world, the 600-year-old predator struggles with panic attacks and blackout episodes, while he satiates his cravings for fresh blood.
“Vlad offers us the opportunity to reimagine a classic horror story and transform it into a modern thriller. It’s a love story, a high-concept drama that shows us both the savage and the vulnerable side of an immortal being,” said Rodriguez, adding: “We are always seeking out, adapting and creating interesting stories that navigate between genres with ease, stories that can take us from terror to tenderness, from tears to laughter and connect with different audiences in many levels and ‘Vlad’ is a great example of this kind of story.”
“We are looking at ‘Vlad’ as a multi-season series; It’s a character-driven show with complex characters that everyone can relate to,” Rodriguez told Variety. “The vampire himself is going to face a lot of conflicts that are part of the human condition nowadays,” he said, adding that rights negotiations with Silvia Lemus, Fuentes’ widow, was “always amicable and in the best of terms.”“She cares a lot about the property and we went to great lengths to ensure that we would produce a high-concept series that would honor both the author and his story,” Rodriguez explained.
Noting that Boomdog is currently developing a number of horror genre IPs, Rodriguez remarked: “This adaptation of “Vlad” goes way beyond a classic horror, or even a horror show; it’s a mixed genre project that has elements of a modern thriller, a love story, a powerful drama and even some comedy… just like life itself.”
“I find it very attractive and well-timed to propose a new look at classic genres such as thriller and horror through vampirism and romance,” Cravioto agreed. “I think ‘Vlad’ pays homage, preserves and rethinks this classic story from Fuentes’ novel, which on a personal level as a director and story seeker, poses a new narrative and formal challenge,” he added.
Cravioto, one of the most celebrated of film and television directors, producers and screenwriters in Mexico, served as showrunner and director for Netflix’s Diablero and as director of series Monarca, among others. His feature film Malvada will debut in theaters later this year while Corazonada is heading to Paramount+.
Winner of a slew of top literary honors, including the Miguel de Cervantes Prize and the Belisario Dominguez Medal of Honor, Fuentes was regarded as one of the illustrious writers in the Spanish-speaking world before his death in 2012. Some of Fuentes’ most acclaimed novels include The Death of Artemio Cruz, Aura, Terra Nostra, The Old Gringo and Christopher Unborn.
Vlad was first published in 2004 as a short story as part of Fuentes’ Inquieta Compañía and was later released as a novel in 2012, shortly before his death. The New York Times in its 2012 review of Vlad, said “it displays the strengths of a great writer’s late oeuvre to excellent effect” and Publisher’s Weekly stated the novel “follows the pattern of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but infuses the story with a modern sensibility and vivid imagery.”
Interest in the legendary vampire has sparked recently in the wake of news in September about two separate takes on the making of the Spanish-language version of the Bela Lugosi classic, Dracula.
In the first project, Eugenio Derbez is attached to star and executive produce comedic series They Came at Night (working title), which is in development at TelevisaUnivision’s SVOD platform Vix+.
Separately, Gato Grande announced at Madrid TV event Iberseries & Platino Industria that Money Heist star Alvaro Morte would play the actor Carlos Villarias who took on the Dracula role in the Spanish-language version.