×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

HBO Europe Greenlights ‘Patria,’ Its First Original Production in Spain

HBO Europe has greenlit “Patria,” its first original series out of Spain, to be written and produced by Aitor Gabilondo (“El Príncipe”) and directed by award-winning helmers Pablo Trapero and Félix Viscarret (“Under the Stars”).

The eight-part series adapts author Fernando Aramburu’s 2016 novel of the same name, one of the most acclaimed of recent Spanish bestsellers. Variety reported on the development of the project last year.

Trapero, a leading light of New Argentine Cinema who won a best director plaudit in Venice for “The Clan” in 2016, will serve as lead director. Trapero has made movies that deal with weighty social and political issues but appeal far beyond art-house audiences, such as Cannes competition contender “Lion’s Den” and Ricardo Darin-starrer “Carancho.” Viscarret, a Goya award winner who helmed the Caribbean noir series “Four Seasons in Havana” for Tornasol, will direct some of “Patria’s” episodes.

The 646-page novel looks at the impact of Spain’s Basque conflict on ordinary people on both sides, such as the widow of a man killed by the ETA who returns to her home village after the 2011 ceasefire between the separatist group and the Spanish government, and her former intimate friend, the mother of a jailed terrorist.

Both families must deal with grief and moral contradictions while life goes on. The series asks if they will be able to someday forgive, erase their differences, and move forward, HBO Europe said in a statement Monday.

The series is produced by Alea Media, co-owned by Mediaset España.  It will go into production in 2019 for a planned 2020 premiere.

Antony Root, EVP of original programming and production for HBO Europe, described “Patria” as a “personal, human story that unfolds against the backdrop of political violence in the Basque country, and which explores themes of grief, community and forgiveness.” Root called the story “at once acutely local and affectingly universal.”

“To me, ‘Patria’ is not only the challenge of adapting a powerful and moving novel that has reached readers all over the world,” added the Basque-born Gabilondo. It is “also a personal journey which, through these characters, takes me back to the toughest years of ETA that made such an impact on my youth.”

For Miguel Salvat, commissioning editor of original programming for HBO España, “‘Patria’ is the perfect expression of HBO Europe’s ambition regarding original production. We want to create something different, with great quality, that lives up to the legacy of our brand.”

In late 2016, HBO Espana launched a standalone streaming service in Spain with former Canal Plus and Movistar exec Miguel Salvat on board as its programming chief.

HBO has always stood apart from many pay TV and VOD operator through its highly selective production output which seeks to strengthen its brand. That said,  it has been ramping up its slate of originals out of Europe. It recently set launch dates for Danis Tanovic (“No Man’s Land”) series “Success,” its first drama out of Croatia, Polish crime series “Blinded by the Lights,” and HBO-TNT co-production “Hackerville.” In the Nordics, it has set comedy-drama “Gosta,” from filmmaker Lukas Moodysson (“Mammoth”), as its first original.

Strengthening the distribution of its originals,  HBO Europe shows now also reach the U.S., on HBO’s on-demand services. HBO Latin America originals are released in Europe snd the U.S.

HBO Europe currently operates standalone services in Eastern Europe, the Nordic territories and Spain. Elsewhere, it has signed output deals with major pay TV operators, most notably Sky, which sees Sky taking exclusive first-run broadcast rights to HBO programming, across its services in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. The large question is whether it might opt one day for total standalone distribution across Europe.

Stewart Clarke contributed to this article 

More TV

  • TV Ratings: 'Watchmen' Premiere Draws 1.5

    TV Ratings: 'Watchmen' Premiere Draws 1.5 Million Viewers

    Who will watch the Watchmen? Turns out 1.5 million people, that’s who. The debut of the highly anticipated HBO series delivered that many sets of eyeballs across all the premium cabler’s platforms on Sunday night. For comparison, Sunday’s premiere was up 21% in linear on last week’s “Succession” season finale, and up 20% from the [...]

  • Variety Sundance Portrait Studio

    Melanie Lynskey Joins Showtime Pilot 'Yellowjackets' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Melanie Lynskey has been cast in one of the main roles of the Showtime ensemble drama pilot “Yellowjackets,” Variety has learned exclusively. The project tells the story of a team of talented high school girls soccer players who survive a plane crash deep in the Ontario wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Writers Guild Boosting Efforts in Project Development Amid Agency Standoff

    The Writers Guild of America, locked in a six-month standoff with major talent agencies, has announced that it’s boosting efforts at gathering TV, streaming and film project development data to help members find new employment opportunities. The WGA made the disclosure in a message to members on Monday. The guild directed its 15,000 members to fire [...]

  • Amy Poehler Jessica Goldberg

    Amy Poehler, Jessica Goldberg Team for 'The Mother-in-Law' Put Pilot at NBC

    Jessica Goldberg is set to write a drama with a put pilot order at NBC that Amy Poehler will executive produce. The project is titled “The Mother-in-Law,” based on the novel of the same name by Sally Hepworth. It is described as a thriller centered around a woman’s complicated relationship with her husband’s family that [...]

  • Beau Willimon Hulu The First

    Beau Willimon, Katie Cappiello to Produce 'Slut' Series Adaptation at Netflix

    Playwright Katie Cappiello is teaming with “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon to bring an adaptation of her 2013 play “Slut” to the small screen. The show, titled “Grand Army,” is set up at Netflix with Odessa A’zion set to lead the cast. “Grand Army” follows five students at the largest public high school in [...]

  • How 'Catherine the Great,' 'Chernobyl' Challenge

    How 'Catherine the Great,' 'Chernobyl' Challenge the Hollywood Script on Russia

    Hollywood loves a good baddie, and for the last 50 or so years, a large proportion of those villains have been Russian. Take Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), who killed Apollo Creed in the ring in “Rocky IV,” or Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman), who hijacked the President’s plane in “Air Force One,” or more recently the [...]

  • HBO Max Orders 'Crazy Rich Asians'-Style

    HBO Max Orders 'Crazy Rich Asians'-Style Docuseries 'The Ho's'

    HBO Max is continuing its content push with an order for a “Crazy Rich Asians” inspired docuseries. Titled “The Ho’s,” the eight-episode half-hour series hails from Lionsgate TV and plunges viewers into the over-the-top world of the Ho’s, a Vietnamese immigrant family who built a multi-million dollar bank, a real estate development company and a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content