Lionsgate-Televisa joint venture Pantelion is remaking 2013 German box office hit comedy “F… You, Goethe,” above, in line with its strategy to find universal mainstream pics worldwide, and adapt them to Hispanic auds. Shooting in Spanish in Mexico for an estimated $3 million, the comedy is a Pantelion production with Germany’s Constantin Films, which co-produced the original.
Remake is titled “No Manches Frida,” in reference to the name of a high school where an ex-con gets a job as a substitute teacher so that he can dig out his loot, now buried under a new gym. A notoriously rowdy class meets its match with a thug who has no interest in teaching them.
“It’s original title in German (“Fack Ju Goehte”) sounds quite strong but its success stems precisely from its in-your-face comedy,” said Pantelion COO Edward Allen, who first saw the original two years ago in Berlin.
“No Manches Frida” starts principal photography in Mexico City on Oct. 30 with popular Mexican comic Omar Chaparro playing the lead opposite thesp-producer Martha Higareda as his romantic interest. Chaparro leads the popular Televisa Saturday night show “Sabadazo,” which replaced Don Francisco’s “Sabado Gigante” on Univision. Other cast members include Adal Ramones (“Saving Private Perez”) and Fernanda Castillo (Telemundo’s “El Senor de los Cielos”).
“No Manches Frida” is produced by Pantelion Films with Mexico’s Mauricio Arguelles and Higareda of Neverending Media. Higareda found early success as a producer with Televisa-backed “Casese Quien Pueda,” 2014’s top-grossing Mexican comedy, in which she also played the lead.
Spain’s Nacho G. Velilla, whose comedy “Perdiendo el Norte” was the highest-grossing Spanish comedy this year, will helm the remake. “He’s an excellent comedy director, he really knows his craft,” said Higareda. “We’ll be sticking close to the original plotline, except for some cultural details.”
Laurence Rosenthal, Claudio Herrera and Sergio Adrian Sanchez penned the remake.
“No Manches Frida” is “the prototype of Pantelion’s new strategy,” said Allen. “It’s a film that can re-made in Korea, Mexico, Brazil; it’s something anyone can relate to and can appeal to several generations.”
Pic is set for a 2016 Labor Day release.