Televisa USA is seeking to harness the production might and connections of its parent group in Latin America as part of a new initiative from Chris Philip, head of production and distribution.
Its version of Gran Hotel will be based in pre-Fidel Castro Havana, Cuba. It will be shot at producer Lantica Media’s Pinewood Studios in the Dominican Republic.
Televisa said it will co-develop and finance multiple projects with Lantica.
Germany’s Beta Film sells Gran Hotel, but the format deal with Televisa was brokered by scripted format sales company Pomodoro Stories.
Philip, the former Engine Entertainment chief (pictured), said: “Setting Gran Hotel in a sexy, sinful atmosphere offers up a rich fusion of glamour and intrigue deeply rooted in an exceptional murder mystery format with a proven global footprint.”
“Since the introduction of the film law and its incentives, the Dominican Republic has seen substantial growth in both film and television production,” said Antonio Gennari, CEO of Lantica. “The country offers mesmerising scenery and world-class production capabilities.”
The original series (pictured) was produced by Spanish prodco Bambu Producciones for free-to-air net Antena 3. Beta has sealed deals for a local version in Italy, for pubcaster Rai, and sold the finished version around the world.
Beta Film’s senior VP, Christian Gockel, said: “Gran Hotel is one of Beta’s biggest sales hits and franchises of recent years. We at Beta Film are proud and thrilled to see Gran Hotel on its way to becoming an evergreen, opening its doors in Cuba’s amazing 1950s.”