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HBO Europe Announces New Series, ’30 Coins,’ From Alex De La Iglesia

MADRID, Spain — HBO Europe has greenlit production on a new series from famed Spanish genre director Alex De La Iglesia titled “30 Coins.”

The series’ eight episodes will shoot this year in Spain. Long-time Iglesia writing partner Jorge Guerricaechevarría is co-writing, with De La Iglesia’s Madrid-based Pokeepsie Films co-producing. Executive producering for HBO Europe are Miguel Salvat, Steve Matthews and Antony Root.

“30 Coins” turns on exiled priest Father Vergara, an exorcist, boxer and ex-convict, living in a remote village in Spain. Hoping to be lost and forgotten, Vergara’s demons catch up to him.

The town’s ambitious mayor Paco teams with local veterinarian Elena to unearth the secrets of Vergara’s past. The three end up teaming and find themselves in the middle of a global conspiracy to control the 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas Iscariot when he turned on Jesus of Nazareth. The coins are, as one might imagine, cursed, and contain supernatural powers.

De la Iglesia said in a press release: “’30 Coins’ is the project I’ve been dreaming about all my life. It’s a series that dives into pure horror combining thriller, action and mystery, with a plot that starts in a remote village in Spain and spreads over the world.”

“It’s a naked look into the truest form of genre aimed at entertaining and wrecking fans’ sleep,” he continued. “Weird creatures, cursed cults and unspeakable secrets will emerge from the cracks of a reality that can only inspire mistrust in those who dare to explore it; an exhilarating experience for those who want to have fun while getting their horror fix.”

De la Iglesia is a pillar of Spanish genre cinema since the 1995 release of his Madrid-based classic “El día de la bestia,” which won Spanish Academy Goya awards for, among other thing, best director, special effects and best new actor, which went to Santiago Segura, now one of the country’s most marketable personalities in front of, and behind, the camera.

More recently De La Iglesia has proved his staying power with domestic box office hits such as “Perfectos desconocidos” (Perfect Strangers) and “El bar” (The Bar).

He has also demonstrated his ability to impress at festivals, his 2010 film “Balada Triste de Trompeta” (The Last Circus, one of his most personal films which) won the Silver Lion for best director and best screenplay at Venice. His TV work includes the 2008-09 sci-fi series “Pultón B.R.B. Nero” and the 2006 TV film “The Baby’s Room.”

“Only Álex, with his own voice and universe, can carry out a project of this narrative and visual ambition,” added Salvat, commissioning editor of original programming, HBO España. “It has been a fruitful and exciting development process with Álex and Jorge. We are sure that ‘30 Coins’ will fit perfectly into a brand that already has a huge legacy.”

Root, EVP programming and production, HBO Europe summed up saying: “Alex creates worlds that are immediately immersive, full of idiosyncratic characters, darkness, humor and fun. We’re incredibly excited and proud to have him join the HBO Europe family – and to add such a brilliant and uniquely-imagined genre series to our growing and varied originals slate.”

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