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Netflix on Track to Release 30 Spanish Originals By Year End, As ‘Money Heist’s’ Alex Pina Teases Luxury Bunker Series

Netflix Alex Pina
Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix is on track to produce 30 series, movies and non-fiction shows in Spain by year end, Verónica Fernández, fiction director, Netflix Spain and Portugal announced at a presentation of the U.S. streaming giant’s five new soundstages at its imposing European Production Hub at Tres Cantos, half an hour’s drive north of Madrid. 

The expansion, with the new facilities up-and-running from this January, raises to 10 the total number of soundstages at the complex, which opened in 2019 with three. 

The announcement was made Tuesday at the official inauguration of Phase 2 of the Production Hub which also saw “Money Heist” creators Alex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato tease details of a second series in development, apart from “Money Heist” spin-off “Berlin,” set in a luxury multi-storey underground bunker. 

Meanwhile, María González Veracruz, Spain’s secretary of state for telecommunications, spoke in veiled terms of new fiscal facilities for film and TV in. Spain, which could be interpreted as reference to another hike in the rebate cap for international shoots, currently at €10 million ($10.3 million) on mainland Spain, to encourage big movies to lens for longer in Spain.

Netflix revealed sketches of Pina and Martínez-Lobato’s luxury bunker, described by the presentation’s moderator as an “inverted high-rise.” 

“The idea comes from the construction of bunkers in and after the pandemic. We imagined a building dug 75 meters down into the earth where we don’t focus on an apocalypse but rather the absurdity of the rich and powerful enclosing themselves like rats,” said Pina.

He went on to describe the series as “highly acid, with a lot of dark humor, a ‘Big Brother’ with a lot of conflictive relations between families. The big question was: How could life go on at the end of the world?”

“This year we are going to release 30 original productions – series, reality shows, docu-series, movies – and this number says a lot about what this adventure has been,” said Fernández. “Without a doubt, we continue to bet on Spain and it is a firmer bet than ever. The second phase guarantees that we will be able to continue with impressive means to continue telling our stories. So that our stories can continue to reach the world.”

The expansion at Tres Cantos will allow Netflix to back a slew of new original stories for 2023, with in the pipeline upcoming films such as Paco Plaza’s “Hermana Muerte,” Alauda Ruíz de Azúa romantic comedy “Eres tú,” Carlos Therón’s “Fenómenas,” about a group of women investigating paranormal phenomena, and Marçal Forés’ “A través del mar,” the second part of the trilogy created by Ariana Godoy. “A través de mi ventana” ranks as the fourth most-watched Netflix non-English language movie ever..

TV shows for next year take in “El silencio,” by Aitor Gabilondo at Alea Media; Arcadia Motion Pictures crime series “El cuerpo en llamas,” starring Úrsula Corberó; “Money Heist” spin-off “Berlín,” a new season of Álex Pina’s “Sky Rojo,” Plano a Plano-produced series “Un cuento perfecto” and “Valeria,” Zeta Studios’ “Élite” and a new season of non-fiction series “Soy Georgina.”

With its Phase 2, the global streamer’s first production facility in Europe has doubled its stage capacity and now features 10 sets and multi-purpose space of more than 236,806 sq. ft that includes production offices, makeup, hair and wardrobe areas.

Netflix opened this year post-production facilities next to the stages which offer creators high quality technology once filming has wrapped. The Tres Cantos facility also features the first remote editing system in Spain (with 30 new rooms that will make it easier for technicians to work on projects from anywhere in Spain or Europe) and Netfix’s first cloud-based post-production lab anywhere in the world.

The official inauguration of the Production Hub expansion kicked-off with tours of the sets of “Élite,” led by creator Carlos Montero; “Kaos,” with executive producer Chris Fry, and “The Society of the Snow” with director J.A. Bayona, producers Belén Atienza and Sandra Hermida, special effects supervisor Pau Costa, production designer Alain Bainee and visual effects supervisors Laura Pedro and Félix Bergés.