Sony Pictures International Productions and Amazon Prime Video have closed a multi-picture deal with celebrated Spanish cineaste Álex de la Iglesia to produce a new horror feature film anthology, “The Fear Collection.”
Put through Pokeepsie Films, De la Iglesia and Carolina Bang’s Madrid-based production company, the deal will see De la Iglesia direct and/or produce movies from The Fear Collection, which also take in suspense titles.
Produced in association with Amazon Prime Video, the films will be initially theatrically released by Sony Pictures Entertainment Iberia. They will then be made available on Amazon Prime in Spain. SPIP will control all distribution rights for each picture outside of Spain.
Though always made under De la iglesia’s creative influence, movies may be directed by other notable filmmakers. Sony announced Thursday that several projects are currently in development for “The Fear Collection,” with established writers and directors such as the De la Iglesia himself teaming with his longterm co-writer Jorge Guerricaechevarría as well as “[REC]” writer-director Jaume Balagueró, Paula Ortiz, director of B.O. breakout “The Bride,” Fernando Navarro, co-writer of Paco Plaza’s Netflix hit “Verónica,” and Carlos Theron, director of 2019 Telecinco Cinema B.O. hit “I Can Quit Whenever I Want.”
De la Iglesia is, moreover, bringing to the table a precise idea of the caliber of fear which will set the Collection apart.
He commented: “It’s an ambitious project that I’ve been hauling around for years. The concept is to make a collection of films that unveil a universe of horror beyond time. The characters face supernatural forces that threaten humanity. The idea is to generate a label of films with a specific character, Cosmic Horror.”
The partners will aim to produce two films a year with directors and screenwriters that are lovers of the genre, he added, saying that “If there’s something known very well in this country, it’s being afraid, it’s planted in our brains ever since, on a school excursion, we gazed for the first time on the dark paintings of Goya.”
Breaking out with his second feature, 1995’s black horror comedy “The Day of the Beast,” a milestone in modern-day Spanish cinema yoking U.S. genre and a bathetic Spanish reality, De la Iglesia remains one of Spain’s most-courted directors, helming Spanish remake “Perfectos Desconocidos” to $25.8 million in 2018 and now directing drama series “Treinta Monedas” for HBO Europe.
The Fear Collection is now one way to make movies count in a new movie landscape where theatrical release is essential for marketing and other media impact and horror when it clicks can prove extremely profitable to producers.
A series of movies is, moreover, potentially a much more powerful IP in a digital platform space, where horror is an audience mainstay.
“Álex is a true maestro of horror. The Fear Collection is the perfect platform for Álex and Sony Pictures International Productions to explore the boundaries of genre filmmaking in Spanish cinema,” said Laine Kline, head of Sony Pictures International Productions.
Iván Losada, managing director of Sony Pictures Spain, stated that “Álex is one of the most brilliant and prolific directors in this country, and we celebrate with great enthusiasm the fact that we are able to include his talent in the development of this collection of horror films”.
“Álex de la Iglesia is one of Spain’s great cinematic benchmarks. To be able to collaborate with him, hand-in-hand with Sony Pictures Entertainment and Pokeepsie Films, is a privilege for us, for it enables us to offer our customers a collection of films with a seal of indisputable quality,” added Ricardo Carbonero, head of content at Amazon Prime Video in Spain. “Cinema is one of the great pillars of our service, and this project will help us to carry on developing a catalogue of Spanish content that is exclusive, differentiating and innovative.”
Founded by De la Iglesia and actress-producer Carolina Bang, Pokeepsie Films has set out to date to bring on a new generation of Spanish horror talents producing movies such as “Musarañas” (Esteban Roel and Juan Fernando Andrés), “Los héroes del mal,” “En las Estrellas” (Zoe Berriatúa) and “Pieles” (Eduardo Casanova). De la Iglesia and Bang are now preparing the shoot of “La Casa de Tiza” (Ignacio Tatay) and “La Piedad” (Casanova).
The Fear Collection now raises the bar, in ambition, reach and big company backing.