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Series Mania: Lagardere’s Atlantique, Spain’s Portocabo Co-Develop TV Drama ‘Hierro’ With Movistar Plus, Arte France

The eight-episode thriller skein won best project award at the Berlinale's 2015 CoPro Series

ALFONSO BLANCO - PORTOCABO
Photo: BORJA NIETO

In a co-production deal announced at the 8th Series Mania Festival, Lagardere’s Atlantique Productions is teaming with Spanish production company Portocabo to develop thriller TV series “Hierro,” a best project award winner at Berlinale’s 2015 CoPro Series.

Developed with leading Spanish paybox Movistar Plus and French network Arte France, the “Hierro” deal, unveiled Thursday at Paris’ Series Mania, marks an early co-development initiative between France and Spain for a TV series.

Previous Lagardere connections with Spain in terms of international TV fiction projects include Lucie Borleteau’s thriller “Cannabis,” a co-production by Tonie Marshall’s Tabo Tabo Films, Spain’s Arcadia Motion Pictures and Arte France, warmly received on its world premiere at Series Mania’s 2016 edition, handled for international by Lagardere Studios.

A eight 52-minute drama, “Hierro” is set on the volcanic island of El Hierro, the most southerly of Spain’s Canary Islands. There, a hidden corpse with signs of having been brutally murdered is brought up to the sea surface. Díaz, a shady local entrepreneur, is sent to prison as the main suspect but Candela, a forceful, high tempered judge, releases Díaz on bail in her first court decision after arriving the island.

Candela’s very unpopular choice triggers the islanders’ mistrust. The judge is firm in fulfilling her duty above all while Díaz determines to get the culprit, prove his innocence and find out who has set him up, no matter what it takes. It takes a physical and emotional trip to hell, for Diaz and the judge.

Produced by Portocabo general manager and founder Alfonso Blanco (pictured) and Atlantique toppers Olivier Bibas and Jimmy Desmarais, series’ development is under way; production is scheduled for early 2018.

“Hierro” is written by Pepe Coira, Coral Cruz and Araceli Gonda.

“Launching a development in Spain with Movistar and Arte in France is a new exciting step for Atlantique and matches our strategy to foster new collaborations in Southern Europe. The island of Hierro is a very exciting arena for a thriller and we are extremely happy to team up with Portocabo,” Bibas and Desmarais said in a statement.

Blanco added: “I’m very happy to announce that ‘Hierro’ is moving along with first class partners like Atlantique, Movistar and Arte France; and especially to make the announcement here in Series Mania, where the project sprang to life after receiving the award at Berlinale’s CoPro Series.”

A leading French producer of high-end drama series for the global market, and a Lagardere Studios’ subsidiary, Paris-based Atlantique has produced international TV series such as “Midnight Sun,” commissioned by Canal Plus and SVT, Tom Fontana’s “Borgia” and “Transporter, the Series.”

Portocabo was part of Spain’s Boomerang TV Group until January, when it became 100% owned by Blanco. The Galicia-based company has already produced series with international appeal such as English-language teen comedy “The Avatars,” aired by Disney Channel in Italy and Kika in Germany.

Acquired by Lagardere in 2016, Boomerang TV’s standout fiction productions include the original TV series “The Mysteries of Laura,” remade by Warner Bros. for NBC, and an Atresmedia’s international sales hit, period drama “The Time in Between,” among others.