Manolo Cardona, one of Colombia’s top actors who has starred in such Netflix hits as “Narcos” and “Who Killed Sara?,” is now filming his directorial debut, “One Must Die,” for Paramount+ Latin America.
Cardona also stars in the suspense thriller and is joined by Spain’s Maribel Verdu, who starred in “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Belle Epoque” and “Y Tu Mamá Tambien,” and is soon featured in the upcoming DC film “The Flash.” The rest of the cast includes Carla Adell, Juan Carlos Remolina, Dagoberto Gama, Fernando Becerril and Adriana Paz.
In the story written by Julieta Steimberg and Gavo Amiel, seven people are kidnapped and find themselves unwilling participants in a deadly game. In order to survive, the captives must choose one of them to die, but this person will have to agree to be sacrificed. Meanwhile, the clock ticks and their allotted time is running out.
“I’ve always been interested in exploring the human condition, especially in the most extreme and vulnerable conditions,” Cardona told Variety. “All my life, I’ve been a fan of these South Korean thrillers, especially those by Park Chan-wook and his vengeance trilogy: ‘Oldboy,’ ‘Lady Vengeance’ and ‘Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.’
“When I read the script and started working on it, I realized that it was very similar to all the South Korean films that have inspired me on the narrative, aesthetic and visual level,” he continued. “That’s when I felt the urge to make this story my directorial debut.”
Filming began on June 20 in Mexico City, where the pic will shoot for a total of five weeks. A week’s shoot will be filmed on a beach in Veracruz, Mexico.
Cardona has also produced a slew of film and TV projects through the shingle he runs with his brother Juancho, 11:11 Films & TV. “One Must Die” is produced by Paramount’s international studio, VIS, in association with 11:11 Films.
The project is one of many first-look deals that VIS has cobbled with major content makers across Latin America, Spain and the U.S. These include a number of high-profile directors, producers and actors, led by Paco Cabezas, Juan José Campanella, Santiago Segura, Frida Torresblanco, Marc Anthony, Diego Boneta, Cardona and Luis Gerardo Méndez. Most recently, it signed a deal with Spain’s Morena Films. It’s also forged pacts with Gaumont, El Deseo, Cattleya and Indigo, among others.
Production has also started in Mexico for the second season of Paramount+’s original hit series “Cecilia,” produced by VIS in association with Oficina Burman, part of The Mediapro Studio.
The first season of “Cecilia” was honored at the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards, where it earned the silver award for best screenplay.