In its continued bid to bolster and secure proven talent in Latin America, Netflix has announced a three-year exclusive creative partnership for series and a first look film pact with Chilean writer José Ignacio “Chascas” Valenzuela, creator, showrunner and executive producer of the hit Netflix series “Who Killed Sara?”
Valenzuela is now tooling the third season of “Who Killed Sara?,” co-written with his long-time collaborators Rosario Valenzuela and Jean Pierre Fica, which kicks off production in Mexico on Oct. 18.
According to Netflix, the first season of the series was viewed by more than 55 million households in its first four weeks, landing in the Top 10 of 87 countries, including the U.S., Germany, Israel, Brazil and France. The second season followed shortly, a couple of months after the first.
“I’d like to understand the phenomenon of its success myself and that way, minimize errors in my next shows,” Valenzuela mused. He admits his predilection for the thriller format “where nothing is what it seems,” he added.
Produced by Perro Azul, the series tracks Álex Guzmán, played by Colombia’s Manolo Cardona (“Narcos”) who is wrongfully accused of killing his sister Sara and locked up for 18 years. Upon his release, he sets out to find out who killed her and seek revenge on the wealthy Lazcano family who set him up.
Valenzuela, whose other acclaimed dramas include “Amor a Domicilio,” “La Familia de al Lado,” and “Dama y Obrero,” is in production on his next project for this new alliance, “Donde Hubo Fuego” (“Where There Was Fire”) a Mexican novela honoring the fire fighters who risk their lives on a regular basis. Set in a fire station, it will also feature interwoven storylines of adventure, romance and suspense.
Eduardo Capetillo (“Soy Tu Dueña) and Itatí Cantoral (“No Manches Frida 2”) lead the cast of the new multi-episode series which will likely be longer than a regular series but not as long as a traditional telenovela, said Valenzuela who studied at UCLA and aims to create series that bear the classic structure of American series but have a Latino flair.
“I am beyond thrilled to join the Netflix family. Working with them over the next three years, I am committed to telling stories that will continue to excite fans in Latin America and across the world just like ‘Who killed Sara?’ did,” said Valenzuela, who describes it as a cross between “The Killing” and popular Mexican telenovela, “Cuna de Lobos.”
Expressing delight that Valenzuela had chosen Netflix as his creative base, Roberto Stopello, VP of series, Netflix LATAM said: “We will work together to take his ground-breaking storytelling and boundless creativity to our global audience.”
Netflix has previously formed exclusive creative partnerships for series with Carolina Rivera (“Daughter from Another Mother,” “The War Next Door”) and Manolo Caro, creator of Netflix uber hit, “The House of Flowers” and “Someone Has to Die.”