‘Veneno’ Creators Los Javis, Movistar Plus Team for ‘La Mesias’

Los JAvis Movistar
Courtesy of Movistar+

In an alignment of two of the most powerful forces in Spanish-language fiction, Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo, creators of “Veneno” and producers of “Cardo,” have joined forces with Movistar Plus, the pay TV/SVOD of Telefonica, to develop and produce a new series, “La Mesías.”

Presented on Thursday in Madrid, like “Veneno,” the series has been written by Los Javis – as they are popularly known in Spain – and, according to Javier Ambrossi, the scale of the series marks the natural “next step” in the growth of Suma Content.

A Movistar Plus original series, the series will be written, directed and produced by Ambrossi and Calvo and made in collaboration with Suma Content, their new production label launched last year. Delivery is scheduled for 2023.

Movistar Plus International will handle international distribution of what rates from the get-go as one of the hottest Spanish series which will be brought onto the global market this year.

According to a synopsis read out by Javier Calvo at the presentation, “La Mesias,” described as a family thriller, turns on Enric, who is heavily impacted by a viral video of a Christian pop band made up of five sisters. Enric himself, the synopsis says, is still traumatised by a childhood shaped by religious fanaticism and the yoke of a mother with messianic delusions.

“‘La Mesías’ talks about overcoming trauma, faith as a tool to fill the void and art as the only escape from terror,” he added.

A first teaser image of “La Mesías” shown at the press conference shows a naked mother with a baby on her lap and a small daughter on the floor while, like a puppet master, she manipulates the strings of child-like shop dummies.

“We want to go a step further than we did in ‘Veneno,’ by creating an almost apocalyptic family drama and delving once again into faith, but from a darker and more painful place,” said Calvo.

Ambrossi commented that the series will take place from the ’80s to the present day. The cast will be “spectacular.”

“It’s been more than a year-and-a-half of very intense work, of documentation, research, writing, making an in-depth study of the issues we wanted to address,” he added. “We’ve created a series told from a multitude of viewpoints, with a mix of genres,” he said.

Asked why Movistar Plus wanted to produce “La Mesías,” Movistar Plus Fiction Director Domingo Corral said the choice was “obvious”: Ambrossi and Calvo are “exceptional creators, with a unique, personal and universal perspective. Movistar Plus is a Spanish platform that supports the best creative talent in Spain.” Their work embodies values which Movistar Plus series strive for: “Authenticity, ambition, originality, risk and proximity,” he added.

A series with Los Javis is a coup for Movistar Plus whose bedrock strategy, as Corral has always insisted, is simply to work with the best talent from Spain. 

They join other names in what Movistar Plus calls its “creative family” such as Alejandro Amenábar (“La Fortuna”), Rodrigo Sorogoyen (“Riot Police” and an episode of the upcoming anthology series “Apagón”); Anna R. Costa (“Arde Madrid”), Alberto Rodríguez (“The Plague,” “Apagón,” upcoming movie “Prison 1977”), Leticia Dolera (“Perfect Life”), Isaki Lacuesta (“Apagón”), Isa Campo (“Apagón”) and Raul Arévalo (“Apagón”), among others. 

Movistar Plus backing will also allow Los Javis to make the series at the budget it requires, which could be considerable – Calvo called the series “very complex and highly ambitious, spanning many different epochs.” 

Catching attention with 2016’s “Paquita Salas,” which began as an online series, and 2017 movie “Holy Camp,” Javier Ambrosi and Javier Calvo have grown into one of the one of the hottest acts on the Spanish fiction scene. 

In a signature deal, “Veneno” was sold to HBO Max for the U.S. and Latin America as well as BrutX in France, being received with acclaim. Created by Claudia Costafreda and the actress Ana Rujas and first airing on AtresPlayer Premium, “Cardo” proved one of the most critically admired series of 2021.

“Veneno” was picked as one of Variety’s best international series in 2020, as a year later was “Cardo,” a portrait of an young Spanish generation which has given up on its dreams.

Launching its first series in Sept. 2017, Movistar Plus has quickly established itself as one of the Spain’s prime scripted TV producers, series such as “The Plague,” “Hierro” and “Riot Police” beating the biggest audiences of any TV show on Movistar Plus while racking up substantial sales abroad. The boldness of some shows is admired by TV execs across Europe. “La Mesías” looks likely to enhance that reputation.