Leading Colombian network Caracol TV is in the works on an as yet untitled bioseries about Mexico’s iconic King of Rancheras, Vicente Fernandez. The production is a Netflix Original and will kick off production on Sept. 27 at a number of locations in Mexico and the U.S. The cast details have not been announced yet.
This marks the first time Caracol will produce a series in Mexico as it seeks to extend its reach beyond Colombia and export its creative and producing expertise. The series will air and stream simultaneously on Caracol in Colombia and Netflix worldwide.
The company has produced some noteworthy bioseries in the past, led by “Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal,” starring a riveting Andres Parra, and “Bolivar,” about the life of Venezuelan General Simon Bolivar who helped liberate several Latin American countries from Spanish rule. The company also co-produced Colombia’s first Oscar-nominated film, “The Embrace of the Serpent.”
Two years in development, the series will tout 36 episodes, a far more than average number for a Netflix series. Fernandez was involved in every step of the process.
Caracol’s ambitious super series will trace the life of Fernandez, also known as ‘Chente,’ from his hardscrabble childhood in Jalisco, Mexico until he became the King of Ranchera music as well as an actor and prominent public figure.
Said Gonzalo Cordoba, president of Caracol Television: “For years, Caracol Televisión has been committed to the search and production of local stories to make them universal and for decades, music, culture, and popular Mexican cinema became the first Latin American stories to travel throughout the country.”
“The most iconic and complete story has been that of the great Vicente Fernández, whom we know as a star of music, cinema and public life, but we do not know his story,” he pointed out, adding: “For this reason, and with the firm intention that now it is not only a Latin story but also a completely universal one, we decided to tell it and take the icon, his life and his music to all corners of the world.”
Lisette Osorio, vice president of international sales at Caracol Televisión concurred: “Our distribution work has allowed us to bring stories with great meaning and relevance to all territories, and now we have made a great commitment to internationalize the life story of an artist whose musical impact has consolidated into a legacy in many cultures.”
Pointing out that Caracol Televisión has been the pioneer and leader in the recent production of biopics, Dago García, Caracol’s VP of production, said: “Our projects have dealt with people from history, sports figures, music legends and even criminals who stained our country with pain. These stories have managed to leave an indelible mark on the reconstruction of the cultural imagination in which our society is recognized.”
“For this and other reasons we could not stop taking care of perhaps the most important and influential icon of Latin American popular music. Producing the story of Vicente Fernandez was not only a desire, but a duty for our company,” he continued.
Caracol’s musical bioseries about the Grammy-winning Mexican icon joins a growing list of Latino musical biopics in movie and series formats that date back to “La Bamba” in 1987, Jennifer Lopez’s career-launching “Selena” in 1997 and most recently on Netflix, the “Selena” series and “Luis Miguel, the Series,” starring Diego Boneta and now on its second season.
Shooting wrapped in July on biopic “Rebellion,” about Afro-Colombian salsa icon, Joe Arroyo, which was produced in Colombia by Rhayuela Films in co-production with Leyenda Films, in association with Alacran Pictures, WideAngle Films, and HD Cinema.