Transatlantic production label El Estudio has acquired the rights to author Fernando Gamboa’s hit novel “The Last Crypt,” and will work with powerhouse Spanish showrunner and “The Ministry of Time” creator Javier Olivares to develop the book into a high-end TV series, executive produced by Eulogio Romero (“Mitos y leyendas”).
“The Last Crypt,” the first in a three-book series, kicks off when diver Ulises Vidal discovers a small bronze bell buried in a coral reef near the Honduran island of Utila. With help from medieval history professor Eduardo Castillo, they learn that the bell is a Templar artifact, an impossibility unless all the history books are wrong and the Templars did in fact cross the Atlantic centuries before Columbus set off from the Spanish port of Palos de la Frontera in 1492.
With hopes of finding the fabled Templar’s treasure, the two join forces with Mexican archaeologist Cassandra Brooks and embark on globetrotting adventure that would make Indiana Jones blush, before uncovering a shocking secret hidden in a diminutive Guatemalan church that proves more transcendental than they’d ever imagine when their journey began.
“The first film I saw as a child was ‘King Solomon’s Mines.’ The first books of my childhood were by Emilio Salgari and Jules Verne. I grew up with a thousand adventures in my head, which sparked my imagination,” said Olivares of the series’ announcement. “‘The Last Crypt’ connects me directly to those memories. Working on the text of Fernando Gamboa and hand in hand with El Estudio means having imaginative people as travel companions, passionate about telling stories and a job well done. Only in this way can such an ambitious story come to fruition,”
Gamboa shared similar inspirations from his own youth, remembering “The great films and adventure series of my childhood pushed me to travel and explore distant places as soon as I was old enough for it. Decades later, those trips of youth led me to write my first novel, ‘The Last Crypt,’ which is already an international best seller which, thanks to this agreement with El Estudio, Javier Olivares and Eulogio Romero we will transform into a great series of adventures, thus closing the circle.”
“The Last Crypt” is exactly the kind of ambitious, international production that makes sense for El Estudio, a joint venture between Spanish-language production legends Enrique Lopez Lavigne (“28 Weeks Later,” “The Impossible”), Pablo Cruz (“Fear the Walking Dead,” “Sin Nombre”) and Diego Suarez Chialvo (“Our Lady,” “Verónica”) with offices in Mexico, Los Angeles and Madrid.
When El Estudio launched in 2019, it did so with a slate of more than 60 projects in development or production, partnering with the likes of Sony Pictures Intl. Prods., Netflix, HBO, Lionsgate, Viacom Intl. Pictures, Movistar Plus and Beta Film. El Estudio is represented by CAA. El Estudio is backed by Inicia, the parent company of Lantica Media, which owns/operates Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios. Lopez Lavigne, Cruz and Suárez have produced a total 45 movies and 10 series over the last 10 years, their movies accumulating to date $620 million in global box office.
“When we looked at the exciting universe of ‘The Last Crypt,’ we knew immediately that it was the great adventure story we were looking for: an epic series of global scale, multiple seasons, with Spanish, Mexican and American characters. It seems tailor-made for the transatlantic spirit of El Estudio,” said Suarez Chialvo, CEO of El Estudio. “We are excited to work with talent of the caliber of Javier, Fernando and Eulogio, with whom we share the passion for the genre.“