PHILIPPINES, 9 SEPTEMBER 2019 – THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, HBO Asia and Hulu Japan are shooting the first series by Àlex Pastor and David Pastor in Spain, more specifically in Tenerife. Directed by Jorge Dorado (“El Embarcadero”, “Mindscape”) for 12 weeks, this survival thriller is set in one of the remotest places on the planet – Antarctica. The shooting is taking place in the Canary Islands and Iceland.
The Pastor brothers and Jorge Dorado have worked with Ran Tellem (“Homeland”), Head of International Content Development of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, in the creation of this thriller.
The project, one of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO’s major investments, took its first steps in 2017 at the prestigious International Series Mania Forum, held in Paris. The Head was presented at a pitching session and aroused great interest among representatives from the media and entertainment sector.
Álvaro Morte (The Professor and mastermind behind the ambitious robbery in “Money Heist”, and a character that has earned him widespread international success; “The Pier”, “El secreto de Puente Viejo”, “To Love is Forever”), Tomohisa Yamashita (“Code Blue”), Laura Bach (”Sprinter Galore”, “Rita”), Mònica López (“Hierro”, “In the city”, “The uninvited guest”, “Acusados”), Alexandre Willaume (“Below the Surface”, ”Deep State”, “Tomb Raider”), Katharine O’Donnelly (“Mary, Queen of Scots”), John Lynch (“The Terror”) and Amelia Hoy (“Below the Surface”, “Killing Eve”) are part of the international cast of the series.
According to Javier Méndez, Chief Content Officer of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, “The Head is an example of the direction we’re headed in, with ambitious and complex international projects based on great stories. The Head is a major step in the Studio’s strategy to guarantee that the best stories reach our clients around the world; to do so, we have excellent partner like Hulu Japan”.
Laura Fernández Espeso, Corporate Director and Co-Head of TV of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, commented: “The Head is the fruit of many months’ labor to meet deadlines when demand for content is huge. Having talent like Jorge Dorado and Àlex and David Pastor working from the beginning to build and shape this project, altogether with a great international cast and a prominent partner such as Hulu Japan, gives an idea of the magnitude of the project. It is a privilege for THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO to bring this amazing series to the audiovisual market”.
The dark, long months in Antarctica, the cold, the wind and the large stretches of ice, along with the feelings of loneliness and claustrophobia, are the distinguishing features of this six-episode series.
The plot of “The Head”, with dialogues in English and Danish, is set in the Polaris VI international base, in Antarctica. A small group of scientists from several countries will be in charge of the base during the long polar nights. But in the middle of winter, the base stops communicating with the outside world.
“After a process lasting two and half years, we at THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO are proud to bring this unique story to the screen”, explained Tellem. “’The Head’” is about Good and Evil. Our story begins when a group of people find themselves completely disconnected from the world, in the frozen darkness of the South Pole winter. For the unknown killer among them, this is the perfect setting. For everybody else, telling good from evil just might be the thing that saves your life.”
He adds, “The moment Hulu Japan joined us, we felt it is more than just a regular collaboration. The opportunity to include a Japanese character in this international thriller was a challenge we embraced from the first moment. Having Tomohisa as part of our cast is a great addition to THE HEAD. Together with his acting abilities and charm, he brings a fresh approach, a new world rarely seen on European shows. We feel it will be a great impact for both the Japanese viewers of the series, as it will be to audiences in Europe and other regions of the world. We are excited and eager to meet Tomo on the set and get busy. We are also delighted that HBO Asia has come on board, so THE HEAD will get a wider distribution across Asia.”
“Following the success of MISS SHERLOCK, the first HBO Asia Original co-production with HULU Japan, we look forward to bringing yet another production in collaboration with HULU Japan,” said Jonathan Spink, CEO, HBO Asia. “We look forward to adding the survival thriller, THE HEAD, to our slate of HBO Asia Originals and bringing it to audiences across Asia when it premieres.”
“In ‘The Head’, I made some contribution to the development, which is quite unusual,” director Jorge Dorado explains, “because directors normally join in at a much later stage. And this is very interesting, because this way, the story in a way becomes yours too.” The director also emphasizes the work of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO: “At the moment, no one else in Spain is doing projects of this magnitude and with such international ambition.”
Àlex and David, who have worked on the screenplays of “The Head”, along with Isaac Sastre, define the production as a “claustrophobic thriller with a central mystery.” “The series plays with two different times, because the idea is to find out who the murderer is, the reasons why they have done this, and if there is something else behind or beyond what seem to be a series of crimes,” they suggest.
The Pastor brothers have a brilliant track record in filmmaking with titles like “Carriers” and “The Last Days”, both written and directed by them, and “SELF/LESS”, written by them, directed by Tarsem Singh (“The Cell”) and starring Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds. They made their debut in the TV world with the series “Incorporated”, for the US channel Sy Fy, produced by Pearl Street Films, which is Matt Damon’s and Ben Affleck’s company. The Pastor brothers were in charge of the screenplay and the direction of the pilot episode. Recently, they have directed the film “Hogar” for Netflix.
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THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO
The mission of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, the content division of the MEDIAPRO Group, is to expand the creation, production and distribution of content globally, creating high-quality international content in association with the very best Spanish and international talent, including Paolo Sorrentino, Woody Allen, Isabel Coixet, Ran Tellem, Oliver Stone, Daniel Burman, Fernando León de Aranoa, Iván Escobar, Javier Fesser, Patricio Guzmán, Borja Cobeaga, Diego San José, Marc Cistaré, Manuel Huerga, Ernesto Daranas, Gastón Duprat, Mariano Cohn, Laura Belloso, Marc Vigil, Fernando González Molina, Javier Olivares and Ruth García. THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, with 58 offices distributed across four continents, 14 of which develop and produce content, launched 34 series in 2019 with a global investment of €200 million for the production of series, movies, entertainment programs, short-formats and documentaries. MEDIAPRO has partnered with key industry players worldwide including HBO, Netflix, Amazon, DirectTV, Fox, Viacom, Yle Turner and Disney, which have earned international acclaim winning awards including 2 Oscars, 2 Golden Globes, multiple Goya awards and two Daytime Emmy Awards.
About HBO ASIA
Wholly owned by HBO (a subsidiary of WarnerMedia), Singapore-based HBO Asia brings the best of Hollywood to Asia first through its exclusive licensing deals with major Hollywood and independent studios, including Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and DreamWorks Animation. HBO is available across 23 territories across Asia. HBO Asia has proprietary and award-winning HBO and HBO Asia Original programmes produced exclusively for HBO viewers. HBO Asia broadcasts five 24-hour commercial-free subscription movie channels: HBO, HBO Signature, HBO Family, HBO Hits and Cinemax; an Asian movie channel, Red by HBO; internet streaming platform, HBO GO; subscription video on demand (SVOD) service, HBO On Demand; and a branded SVOD service in China, 鼎级剧场 (ding ji ju chang). HBO Asia is also the exclusive distributor of BabyFirst channel in the region. Log on to www.hboasia.com for more information.
ABOUT HULU JAPAN
Hulu Japan was originally launched in Sept 2011 by Hulu LLC and got acquired by HJ Holdings Inc, (a Nippon TV company) in April 2014. Over 2 million paying subscribers of Hulu Japan’s SVOD service have instant access to 60,000 videos, and its content line-up covers global-hit scripted series and feature films, local shows including popular dramas, animations, variety shows, documentaries, and Hulu Japan original series besides exclusive catch up and library from Nippon TV, which is the leading terrestrial network and the majority owner of HJ Holdings. Hulu Japan has been maintaining the leading position in the Japanese OTT market since its launch and is regarded as one of the most used services there. Besides Nippon TV, the shareholders include Hulu LLC, Yahoo Japan, TOHO, Yomiuri TV, and CHUKYO TV.
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