Lemon Sets ‘KM 31: Part II’

Psychological chiller forms part of a genre and multi-format push

RIO DE JANEIRO – Fernando and Billy Rovzar’s Mexico and L.A.-based Lemon Films will go into production in the next couple of weeks on “KM 31: Part II,” the follow-up to its 2007 local legend chiller, “KM 31,” one of its biggest hits.

Roberto Castaneda is once more writing and directing. Pantelion, a joint venture of Lionsgate and Televisa, has acquired U.S rights. Televisa’s Videocine will distribute in Mexico, Fernando Rovzar announced at the Rio Festival’s RioMarket.

With “KM 31: Part II,” Lemon will up the ante on both genre and multi-format production. It is currently also prepping two English/Spanish language horror movies for the U.S./Mexico market and beyond, featuring U.S. key cast, but, like the “KM 31” franchise, turning on Mexican legends. Castaneda will helm one of these movies, Fernando Rovzar, the other.

Set seven years after the events of “KM 31, the new installment once more stars Carlos Aragon as Ugalde, the detective who led the investigation into a series of mysterious deaths on a benighted stretch of road surrounded by woodland.

Aragon back on the beat, after being disgraced and even incarcerated for failing to solve the original case, investigating a series of child abductions, “KM 31: Part II” will also feature Ileana Fox, who awoke from a coma at the end of the original, possessed by an evil spirit.

Here, she will embody La Llorona, a mother in Mexican myths who lost her own child.

“Instead of a child looking for his mother, the sequel now a has a mother looking for her child. We touched upon La Llorona legend in the original, here we go deeper,” Rovzar said at Rio.
“KM 31: Part II” will shoot in Mexico, creating its own heavy rain, omnipresent in Part I.
Currently in development, Castaneda and Rovzar’s part-English/part Spanish movies will turn on “a culture clash, not just one man facing himself or his fears, but also facing the unknown in an unknown land: A fish out of water scenario, Rovzar said.
One will take pace against the background of Mexico’s Nov. 2 Day of the Dead, he added. Lemon will begin moving both projects early 2014.

There’s a bigger picture for Lemon, however.
Said Rovzar: “Over the next four-to-five years, we will always have a horror film in development at Lemon, and not just feature films.”
He added: “We want to focus on our core business, which is telling stories. Producing the HBO series ‘Sr. Avila’ taught us a lot about creating a character for 13 episodes.”

“It’s exhausting as filmmakers to put all your efforts into one film a year when we can do many different projects tailored to different areas. That’s something we want to open up.”

Lemon will produce horror shorts, helmed by new directors, which it will screen before its films.

“We want to expose people to the genre. Let’s take a stab at it and see where it takes us,” Rovzar said.
Aragon will also star in theater production “Richard III.”
Producing its first film, action thriller “Matando cabos,” in 2004, Lemon has developed an often highly successful production house style grafting U.S. genre and recognizable Mexican realities.

That will next be seen in Mexican mobster movie “Mexico’s Most Wanted,” a propulsive humor-laced action thriller, based on true events, which stars Tenoch Huerta (“Days of Grace”) as a spectacularly successful bank robber by day and masked mariachi player by night.

Owned by IM Global and Canana, Mundial acquired world sales rights to “Mexico’s Most Wanted” just before Cannes.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more