MADRID — Diego Luna (“Y tu mama tambien,” “Elysium”), is teaming with Mexico’s Televisa and Colombia’s RTI Prods. to make a smallscreen version of Nobel Prize-winning author Mario Vargas Llosa’s “Travesuras de la nina mala” (The Bad Girl).
Luna will direct, take a producer credit and star in “La nina mala,” itself inspired by Gustave Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary.”
The 2007 novel turns on a Peruvian translator’s 40-year fixation with a wild girl he met in his youth in 1950s Peru.
“La nina mala” will encompass 26 one-hour episodes, RTI prexy Patricio Wills told Variety.
RTI will produce for Televisa. Series dovetails with RTI’s deal, announced in August, to produce more than 500 hours of telenovelas for Televisa annually for seven years. RTI will also produce one special event series a year.
Bucking telenovela traditions, “La nina mala’s” heroine is not chasing true love but is a free spirit with a string of lovers. However, it is conceived as mass-audience TV, Wills said.
“When we made ‘Queen of the South,’ we realized audiences want to see something different,” he added.
Underscoring Televisa’s fiction ambitions, the Mexican TV giant and RTI have a second series, based on a literary adaptation, in development: Mexican author Xavier Velasco’s “Guardian Devil.”
It turns on a 15-year-old Mexican girl who runs away to New York City to become an American but ends up as a prostitute.