In the wake of “Breaking Bad’s” series finale, American audiences are mending broken hearts over the departure of their favorite meth-addled drama. For Latino audiences, the ride is just beginning.
Sony Pictures Television is getting back into bed with Walter White — or Walter Blanco, as it were — with “Metastasis,” a Spanish-language remake of Vince Gilligan’s Emmy-winning drama. The Colombian production will see Sony teamed up with local shingle Teleset. Sony bought 50% stake in the production company back in 2009.
Sony has sold the AMC skein into more than 170 territories worldwide. That said, the nature of the material (drug use, extreme violence) made the original a little-seen niche property in most countries. “Metastasis” promises to stay the mainstream course, at least for Latino audiences who are accustomed to crime telenovelas like “El Cartel” and “La Saga.”
SPT has presold the first season of “Metastasis” to all major Spanish-speaking markets across Latin America, as well as to Univision’s UniMas network in the U.S.
Sony has done local-language remakes of shows ranging from “Everybody Loves Raymond” for Russia and the Middle East to “Married … With Children” in a dozen countries. For now, though, SPT insists that no other foreign versions of “Breaking Bad” are in the pipeline.
Devotees can rest assured that producers have consulted with Gilligan and his team in the hopes of staying true to the source material. So while its iconic characters’ names may have been changed for the remake, “Bad’s” bones remain almost entirely intact. “Metastasis” features Diego Trujillo as Blanco, the chemistry teacher who breaks bad, while Robert Urbina plays Jose (Jesse), Sandra Reyes plays Cielo (Skyler), and Julian Arango takes a turn as Henry (Hank).
One (arguably crucial) difference? There’s no RV. According to Angelica Guerra, Sony’s senior VP and managing director of production for Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market, motor homes aren’t popular in Colombia. So, instead, “cooking” will go down in a rickety old school bus.