MADRID — Jose Luis Moreno, a Spanish TV institution whose “Escenas de Matrimonio,” comic sketches of marital life, were adapted in France by M6 as “Escènes de menage,” which proved a French TV phenomenon, is back behind the camera with a star English-language cast for the now-filming period drama “Glow and Darkness,” presented at a press conference in Madrid on Tuesday.
Writer and poet Alejandro Gillermo Roemmers created the series and co-wrote the first season with Moreno, whose his Madrid-based company Dreamlight International Productions co-produces.
Notably, the series does not yet have distribution, which according to Moreno is by design.
“We hope distributors see our work and, if they value it, will start speaking with us,” he explained.
Moreno brought with him just part of the series’ substantial international cast, headlined by two former Bond girls in two-time Golden Globe-winner Jane Seymour (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” “East of Eden”) and Denise Richards (“Starship Troopers,” “Wild Things”) as well as Oscar-nominated actor Bruce Davison (“Longtime Companion,” “X-Men”).
“Glow and Darkness” depicts the live of Saint Francis of Assisi, while focusing on popular historical figures such as Richard the Lionheart, Leonor of Aquitaine (Seymour) and Pope Urban II (Davison).
Behind the camera, Morena has enlisted five-time Spanish Academy Goya-winner and long-time Pedro Almodóvar collaborator José Luis Alcaine (“The Skin I Live In,” “Volver”) as his director of photography.
“We have to think about the lighting during that time and recreate it to give the sets the appearances they would have had when those palaces and churches were built, without changing them, but rather by adapting them to the way we work,” Alcaine said.
Of course, all of that talent comes at a price, which Moreno said could be triple that of his previous English-language period endeavor “Queens,” made for RTVE.
“I can’t give you the exact budget because we’re planning three seasons, and there will be massive battles and VFX,” Moreno explained. “But, thinking of ‘Queens,’ which I think was a pretty big deal, I believe we will triple it. Of course, that’s not set in stone because we will be shooting for six months still.”
“If everything goes wrong it will be my fault, because we have the means,” he half-joked.
Filming has already started, and will take place in Italy, France, Morocco, Egypt and Spain.