BTF Media and Madrid-based IP management company TheMadMediaCo announced on Tuesday, as Iberseries Platino Industria geared up in Madrid, that they are teaming to co-develop and co-produce Argentine true crime non-fiction novel “Magnetized” (“Magnetizado”).
In an instance which shows how IP deals are scaling up, the adaptation will be made across a range of media, formats and markets. First up is a podcast, to be followed shortly by a TV fiction series and docuseries.
The final book published by Busqued after a short but brilliant career before he died of a heart attack on March 29, “Magnetized” is hailed as one of the most original, chilling and unclassifiable of Latin America non-fiction novels.
That comes with the material and Busqued’s treatment of it. “Magnetized” is based on Busqued’s 90 hours of recorded conversation with psychiatric ward inmate Ricardo Melogno decades after Melogno, then a 20-year-old, killed four taxi drivers in Buenos Aires in 1982.
What’s so disturbing is that even after 90 hours of conversation, and 35 years to reflect on what he’s done, Melogno fails to confess any obvious motivation nor pleasure for his crimes, though Busqued begins to grasp some kind of narrative to them and Melogno’s life before.
“With impressive literary skill, ‘Magnetized’ first follows and then subverts all true crime, serial killer genre conventions in an intelligent, fascinating, and chilling way,” BTF Media and TheMadMediaCo commented Tuesday.
“Melogno’s mind and deeds defy every single forensic and psychiatric category and [suggest] how challenging it is to apprehend horror at its deepest level in the human soul,” they added.
“Magnetized” is “a book beyond any recognizable model, beyond genre and without anesthesia. Neither crime novel, nor dirty realism, nor chronicle, nor reportage, nor nonfiction. Busqued has just invented a disjointed genre, crude as the stark reality that inspires him,” Graciela Speranza wrote in Argentina’s El Comercial when the book was published in 2018.
Busqued was working on his third novel when struck down. His first work, “Under the Sun·, short-listed for the prestigious Heralde Award, was adapted as a film, “The Other Brother,” by New Argentine Cinema luminary Israel Adrián Caetano.
“The exceptionality of ‘MagnetizED’ as a work of literature and the way it is written using recorded conversations between the killer and the writer, forensic reports, press clips, interviews, etc., provides ample opportunities to be developed as premium content across a variety of formats and media,” noted Francisco Cordero, BTF Media partner and CEO.
Podcast development, using the recorded conversations between the killer and the writer, is at an “advanced stage,” he said. A TV fiction series and a docuseries will follow “soon.”
“The agreement with BTF Media is the best example of our strategy of acquiring, creating, and developing premium IP content for a variety of media as part of our managed portfolio of IPs and partnering with key players in the most important territories and markets,” observed Rocio Rodiel, partner and CEO of TheMadMediaCo, praising BTF’s “creative vision and production knowledge.”
Few companies have grown and diversified as fast as BTF Media, one of the best connected and most active of independent production houses in Latin America.
It has rapidly expanded in formats and geography, opening offices in Spain and Chile, announcing this September the launch of a new Megaseries Unit for fiction series of 26-60 hours It has also driven into film, going into production on “La Exorcista” in August, for example, while establishing offices in Spain and Chile.
Its centerpiece strategy remains IP, however. BTF Media broke out thanks to smash hit Juan Gabriel bio-series “Until I Met You,” earning it an International Emmy nomination, and “Selena’s Secret,” based on non-fiction work by María Celeste Arrarás. Both were produced with Disney Media Distribution,
BTF has now powered into series adaptations of famed Spanish-movies – “The Others,” “Nine Queens.” “Maradona: Blessed Dream” premieres on Amazon Prime Video on Oct. 29.
Cordero and Erik Barmack feature in an Iberseries Platino Industria panel, IPs, the Battle for the Stories, held on Sept. 29. In it they will analyze the surge of IP-based production. The panel is moderated by Variety.