Global drama producer Fremantle is teaming with Fabula, headed by director Pablo Larrain (“Jackie”) and producer Juan de Dios Larraín (“Gloria Bell”), to produce “La Jauría” (The Pack), a brand new Spanish-Language drama series starring Daniela Vega, the lead in Fabula’s Academy Award-winning “A Fantastic Woman.”
A psychological gender crime thriller set against and energized by “Ni una Menos,” Latin America’s MeToo movement, Fabula’s first international drama series has tapped as its showrunner Lucía Puenzo (“XXY,” “Cromo,” “The German Doctor”), one of Latin America’s most renowned women writers-directors.
Marking Vega’s debut in a Latin American drama series, “La Jauría” is scheduled to shoot in January 2019.The eight-part series also stars Antonia Zegers (“The Club,” “Los Perros,” “A Fantastic Woman”).
“La Jauría” opens at Santa Inés, a posh private Catholic school whose students stage a take-over in protest at a teacher’s suspected sexual assault of a student. Blanca Ibarra, a student leading the takeover, suddenly goes missing. Amidst the search, a video goes viral of her being raped by a gang of unidentifiable men. A gender-based crime police unit formed by Elisa Murillo (Vega) and Olivia Fernández (Zegers) work to find Blanca before it’s too late and to stop what is revealed ti be far more than a one-off gender crime.
Vega plays “a loner,” who is “impulsive, wild and intelligent,” suffered abuse in adolescence and forms a bond of complicity with young protagonist of the series, the sister of the missing teenager, Puenzo said.
“La Jauría” rolls off true events, such as the case in Spain of five men, calling themselves La Manada (“the Wolf Pack”), who were charged with sexual abuse but cleared of gang rape after attacking and having sex with a teenage girl during Pamplona’s San Fermín festival. The lightness of the sentence caused international outrage.
But its inspiration runs deeper.
“The adolescent protagonists of the series, young people, 18 years old, from a private Catholic school in Santiago, have that strength, that determination to change the things that we have seen in different Latin American cities, in the hundreds of girls and women who have taken to the streets to shout ‘Ni una menos’ (‘Not One Less),” said Puenzo.
Using original elements in its constructs, songs and symbols, the ‘Ni Una Menos’ movement has “permeated very deeply in Latin America” and makes the series “pure present,” she added.
For Puenzo, “At its heart, ‘La Jauría’ talks about the construction and strength of the pack, both for Good and Evil. The strength of the series is in reaching into issues that today are transforming the world we live in.”
For Ángela Poblete, president of television at Fabula, “’La Jauría’ is an appealing series that will allow us to address the current social context, with a breathtaking narrative that gives no respite.”
“The fact that it is a series in which there are a large number of women in front of, and behind the camera, is an act of coherence. Otherwise, the whole discourse of the series, which centres on the feminist revolution, would have collapsed,” she added.
“La Jauría” will be co-produced by Fremantle and Fabula in association with Kapow, and in partnership with TVN, Chile’s public television. The project is supported by the government founded CNTV. Executive producers will be Christian Vesper for Fremantle, Ángela Poblete, Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Juan Ignacio Correa and Matías Amocain for Fabula, and Rony Goldschmied for TVN.
“There is such opportunity in Latin America,” said Christian Vesper, Fremantle EVP, creative director, global drama.
He added: “There are global stories to be told and one way to do it is to work with Fabula, which is starting at the top in Latin America. They are genuinely internationally experienced and acclaimed producers, saying that Daniela Vega’s [presence] “means that we can make a big deal about in Latin America and beyond” and the series gives a Latin American perspective on violence against women and the MeToo movement and women taking back the narrative.”
“Humane and series will approach these “in a non heavy-handed way through a thriller,” he went on.
Lucía Puenzo is currently writing the series with Argentina’s Leonel D’Agostino and Chile’s Enrique Videla and Paula del Fierro. Screenplay co-ordination is carried out at Fabula by Julio Rojas.
Cinematographer-director Nicolás Puenzo (“The Unseen”) will serve as director of photography on episodes directed by Puenzo. Chilean directors Sergio Castro (“The Mid Woman”) and Marialy Rivas, whose 2012 debut, “Young & Wild,” won her a Sundance Festival screenwriting award, will direct individual episodes.
“La Jauría” marks the latest high-profile talent-driven drama for Fremantle which in recent months has partnered with Working Title for “The Luminaries,” Michael Haneke for “Kelvin’s Book,” Natalie Dormer and Mainstreet Pictures on Vivien Leigh, Haut et Court and Spiro Films for “Fertile Crescent00,” Paolo Coehlo for his first TV drama and Neil Gaiman for “American Gods” and “Gormenghast.”
Beyond Sebastián Lelio’s Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman,” . Fabula has produced “Neruda” (a 2016 Golden Globe nominee), “No” (a 2013 Oscar nominee) and “The Club” (a 2015 Golden Globe nominee). It recently reimagined Sebastian Lelio’s Berlin best actress winning 2013 title “Gloria” as “Gloria Bell,” starring Julianne Moore, John Turturro and Michael Cera. Fabula opened a U.S. office in Los Angeles in 2017.