Netflix and ‘Spencer’ director Pablo Larraín have gone into production on “El Conde,” a black comedy picturing bloody Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as a 250-year-old vampire.
Larraín will share screenwriting credits with Guillermo Calderón, Chile’s foremost playwright and Larraín’s writing partner on “Neruda” and Berlin Grand Jury Prize winner “The Club,” the movie which persuaded Natalie Portman to play the lead in the Larraín-directed “Jackie.”
“El Conde” is produced by Juan de Dios Larraín at Fabula, the Larraín brothers’ Chile-based film-TV production house whose credits include “Spencer” and “Jackie,” all Larrain’s Chilean movies, and Sebastian Lelio’s 2018 Academy Award winning “A Fantastic Woman.”
Moving from fest-winning straight-arrow arthouse fare such as “Tony Manero” to movies with a wider audience appeal from 2012 Cannes Directors Fortnight winner “No,” starring Gael García Bernal and then into English-language titles from “Jackie,” Pablo Larrain has established himself in the vanguard of Latin American cinema.
Whatever the setting, his movies combine an acute sense of character and big ideas, on power dyanamics, the fate of women in traditional worlds, the lure and hell of fame and also the multiple hostages left to fortune by Augusto Pinochet’s far right and bloody dictatorship.
In a review of “Jackie” Variety’s Guy Lodge hailed Larraín as “the most daring and prodigious political filmmaker of his generation,”
“El Conde” looks to drive deeper into some of the themes, mixing character analysis, drama and comedy and a trenchant analysis of the makings of the modern world – not only in Chile but in global terms.
The historical black comedy revolves around Augusto Pinochet who is not dead but an aged vampire who, after 250 years in this world, has decided to die once and for all, due to ailments brought about by his dishonor and family conflicts, Netflix announced Friday.
Set to be available exclusively on Netflix in 2023, the movie stars Jaime Vadell (“Tres tristes tigres,” “No”) and Gloria Münchmeyer (“La luna en el espejo,” “42 días en la oscuridad”) as well as Larrain regular Alfredo Castro (“Tony Manero,” “Tengo Miedo Torero”) and Paula Luchsinger (“Ema,” “La Jauría”).
“We are very happy as Netflix is a place where directors whom I greatly admire have made really valuable movies,” said Pablo Larrain.
He added: “Using black comedy we want to observe, understand and analyze the events that have occurred in Chile and the world in the last 50 years. We have total confidence that we’ll do a good job and it will undoubtedly be an adventure: a demanding shoot, but very inspiring and meaningful.”
“Finally we can work with Pablo Larraín as a director. Participating in his next movie is truly an honor for us and will undoubtedly bring huge satisfaction to our members in Chile and around the world,” commented Francisco Ramos, Netflix vice president of content for Latin America.
“Pablo is one of the most interesting and significant voices in Latin American cinema in the last 20 years; his view on Chile and Latin America are essential to understanding our continent,” Ramos added. “I have no doubt that ‘El Conde’ will continue on the path Pablo has blazed with ‘No’ and ‘Neruda.’ Continuing to put our faith in Fabula is vital to our growth process in a country as rich and diverse as Chile.”