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Monica Lozano’s Alebrije Cine & Video to Remake Argentina’s ‘El Garante’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Alebrije’s Mexican remake of Argentine soccer comedy ‘Futbol o Yo’ to debut just before World Cup

“El Garante” (“Collateral Man”), possibly the most-awarded local mini-series in Argentina’s TV history, is getting a Mexican version with Mexican uber producer Monica Lozano of Alebrije Cine & Video (“Instructions Not Included,” “Que Culpa Tiene el Niño,” “Amores Perros”) exploring a film makeover of the 1997 series.

Jose Levy of Creative Andina and Alex Ferrara co-wrote a novel based on the series, sold by Amazon on its Best Latino Thrilllers Collection and available in English, Spanish and Turkish. Alebrije is basing its film adaptation on the book, said Lozano.

Chile’s TVN already made its own version of the Argentine hit in 2005 where it ranked second in overall ratings that year, after a telenovela. Spain’s Morena Films has also optioned the show for its own TV version.

“How such a cult series in Argentina has been able to appeal to various territories, in whatever format, is great,” said Levy who handles the remake rights to the series, co-penned and directed by Sebastián Borenztein (“Chinese Take-out,” “Koblic”) and starring Leonardo Sbaraglia (“Wild Tales”). Both won coveted Martin Fierro awards in their respective categories. The psychological thriller series snagged four out of seven Martin Fierro nominations, also taking home three Broadcasting International awards, among other prizes.

Described as “a new twist to the old Faust tale,” “El Garante” turns on a young psychologist, Martin Mondragon, who is approached by a mysterious man who claims to be an emissary of Satan. The emissary tells Mondragon that he must remit his soul on behalf of his grandfather, who reneged on a pact with the devil, or suffer “like a dog hit by a truck.”

Levy, Alebrije Cine and VCS Capital have also co-produced the Mexican remake of the Argentine box office phenomonen “El Futbol o Yo” (“My Love or My Passion”), re-titled “Fuera de Lugar” (“Offside”). Now in post, distrib Videocine has timed the film’s release for June 1 to bring it closer to the 21st FIFA World Cup, slated to take place from June 14 to July 15 in Russia.

“Given its subject matter, our box office expectations are high,” said Lozano, who added that Videocine was reserving more than 1,000 screens for the soccer comedy.

Directed by Pato Safa (“El Jeremias”), “Fuera de Lugar” is one of six films that Alebrije Films releases this year, which range from Ernesto Contreras’ Sundance 2017 audience prizewinner “I Dream in Another Language” to Carlos Carrera’s animated feature, “Ana & Bruno.” “We’re trying to offer films that are diverse and plural; the Mexican audience is open to all kinds of movies,” said Lozano.

Levy is also in advanced remake rights talks with Brazil, India, Egypt, Spain, Italy and Germany for “Futbol o Yo,” he said.

It’s among the many titles circulating in the international market as producers bet on reversioning projects that have a proven track record.

Creative Andino has sold remake rights for Argentine romcom “Corazon de Leon” to Brazil, France, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and China.

The company is also selling remake rights to Chilean box office hit “I’m Not Crazy” and last year’s number one pic in Mexico, “Do it Like a Man,” both from Chile’s prolific helmer-producer-scribe Nicolas Lopez.

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