MADRID — It’s official. Spain’s Atresmedia Studios and The Mediapro Studio are teaming to produce: “El Internado: Las Cumbres,” a reboot of the milestone Spanish series “El Internado” (“The Boarding School”), but made this time round not for free-to-air audiences but Amazon Prime Video.
While firing up its own line-up of originals, beginning with Emmy winner “Six Dreams” and including the upcoming “El Cid,” Amazon Prime Video has moved smartly to make select territory acquisitions on top series, such as “Hernán.”
In the case of “El Internado: las Cumbres,” however, Amazon Prime Video has acquired worldwide rights to the series which will be released as an Amazon Prime Video Original.
Revealing a title for the new version, Amazon Prime Video also announced that the series will go into production first quarter 2020, have eight episodes and shoot on location in Northern Spain.
Dropping seven seasons over 2007-10 on the flagship channel of broadcast network Antena 3, “The Boarding School” was made as Spanish TV networks and writers – Ramón Campos, Alex Pina, and Daniel Ecija and Laura Belloso, main writers on “The Boarding School” – began to incorporate the pace, production standards, sense of genre and harder edge of U.S. drama series into free-to-air titles in a revolution which presaged the stellar series of this decade from “Velvet” to “La Casa de Papel.”
They did so, however, with a sense of melodrama and recourse to an arresting mix of fiction types to retain audiences over then 70-minute episodes, a genre blending still seen in contemporary Spanish fiction. “El Internado: Las Cumbres” looks set to retain that mix of mystery thriller, romance, paranormal and horror beats, being set at a high-school next to an ancient monastery, in benighted mountains.
“The students are rebels, problem teens, submitted to the strict, severe discipline of the center to prepare hem for their return to society,” Amazon Prime Video announced on Wednesday.
“The surrounding forests are the place of ancient legends and still current threats which will immerse them in propulsive, terrifying adventures,” it added.
The original series kicked off in Spain in May 2007 with a robust Season 1 audience share of 23.8%, dipped to 16.5% in Season 6 but rebounded with a 19.9% performance for its seventh and last season, which ended Oct. 2010. It spawned remakes in France and Russia, sales to a slew of territories of the original, and pick-ups by Netflix and then Amazon Prime Video.
It was also the first Spanish series to inspire a video game, on Nintendo DS, as well as a set of novels, and it launched the career of Ana de Armas (“Knives Out,” “No Time to Die”), and Blanca Suárez, Martiño Rivas and Jon González, all three stars of Netflix’s first series in Spain, “The Cable Girls.”
The reboot will be lead written by Laura Belloso, one of the four-creators of the original series, and include original series writers Asier Anduenza, Sara Belloso and Abraham Sastre.
Laura Belloso will serve as executive producer alongside The Mediapro Studio’s Laura Fernández Espeso and Javier Pons and Atresmedia Studios’ Ignacio Corrales and Sonia Martínez.
“It’s undoubtedly a tremendous honor to announce today a production of this scale in Spain,” said Amazon Prime Video España head of content Ricardo Carbonero.
He added: “The international success of ‘The Boarding School’ a decade ago still captivates thousands of fans today. We’re sure the new version will connect with them once more and conquer new audiences.”
“‘The Boarding School’ was a precursor of the current big TV series hits [from Spain],” Fernández Espeso observed. Reenergizing the franchise at a time of high quality fiction production in Spain, the new version’s challenge will be to “reach and conquer a global audience,” she went on.
For Atresmedia, the return of ‘The Boarding School’ is “great news, underscoring our capacity to create hit fiction brands and the good work put in over years. ‘Velvet,’ ‘La Casa de Papel,’ ’Vis a Vis’ and now ‘The Boarding School’ have begun a new stage on platforms after their success on Antena 3,” observed Martínez, Atresmedia director of fiction.