MIAMI — Breaking barriers, Netflix is preparing to unleash “Xtremo,” billed as one of Spain’s first full-on action thriller movies, starring Oscar Jaenada (“Luis Miguel,” “Hernán”) and action specialist Teo García.
A Netflix Original Film directed by Daniel Benmayor, “Xtremo” also marks the first production of Showrunner Films, the new production company set up by Spanish sales agent Vicente Canales and partner Julieta Videla.
“’Xtremo’ was born as a play to create action cinema made here in Spain. A film designed for the global market but with the character and originality of Spanish cinema,” Canales said in a press release.
For Netflix it’s certainly a gamble in bringing a new genre to a territory, but the bet is a calculated one as action thriller films have performed well for the service internationally. In 2019, the Michael Bay, Ryan Reynolds vehicle “6 Underground” was a massive success around the world.
Although the film only premiered on Dec. 13 —it became second most popular film release of 2019 for Netflix and is ranked third on an overall list that includes series like “Stranger Things” and a Spanish drama “Money Heist.” It was the number one film for the service in Spain and France.
Another action flick, the Ben Afleck, Oscar Isaac and Charlie Hunnam-starrer “Triple Fronteir” was the service’s third most popular film in Spain last year.
Written by Iván Ledesma, and based on storyline by Teo García and Genaro Rodríguez, “Xtremo” also stars a strong young Spanish cast of Óscar Casas (“Siempre Bruja,” “Instinto”), Andrea Duro (“Velvet Colección,” “La catedral del mar”), Sergio Peris-Mencheta (“Rambo: Last Blood,” “La catedral del mar,” “Isabel”) and Alberto Jo Lee.
Luis Zahera, whose tearaway performance in “The Realm” won him a Spanish Academy Goya, and three-times Goya winning veteran Juan Diego, also star in the movie.
As head of international sales at Filmax from the turn of the century, before seeing to create his own sale house, Film Factory Ent., Canales was instrumental in helping to popularize worldwide Spanish genre production which took Hollywood horror beats and added an auteurist thrust, and often observations on family dynamics or social issues.
“Xtremo,” which does not mean in any way that Canales is giving up on the sales business run out of his Film Factory Ent., is seen as an attempt to do the same to propulsive actioners.
The film picks up two years after protagonist Max’s brother Lucero betrayed their family, killing Max’s father and son and leaving Max for dead. Now, hungry for revenge, Max begins a checklist-style spree of revenge killings after Lucerno’s hitmen mercilessly kill the family of Leo, Max’s new teenaged protégé.
Director Daniel Benmayor said in a statement: “’Xtremo’ brings to Barcelona a genre of film rarely exploited in Spanish-speaking films. It will be a relentless action film with a spectacular cast that brings together renowned international actors with new talents and a technical team of the highest level that brings a new style to our cinema. Just as signature Spanish horror was created in the past, with ‘Xtremo’ we have the opportunity to create a Spanish standard of action films.”