Professor James Schamus Creates Spanish-Language Series for Netflix Mexico
BY Cody Daniel Beltis , February 22, 2021
Professor James Schamus is crafting a Spanish-Language series for Netflix Mexico with co-screenwriter Monika Reevlla (The House of Flowers and Someone Has to Die) and author Fernanda Melchor (Hurricane Season).
The storyline for the series is being developed, and will shoot in Spanish, with local crew and talent in Mexico. It is set to debut later this year. Francisco Ramos, VP of Spanish-language originals for Netflix in Latin America, told Variety that Schamus is learning Spanish for the development of the series. Ramos also expressed his delight at the “complete and diverse slate” that Netflix Mexico has put together in recent years.
James Schamus is an award-winning screenwriter of The Ice Storm and producer of Brokeback Mountain, and former CEO of Focus Features, the motion picture production, financing, and worldwide distribution company whose films have included Milk, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Pianist, Coraline, and The Dallas Buyers Club. He is the author of Carl Theodor Dreyer's Gertrud: The Moving Word, published by the University of Washington Press. He recently directed the short documentary, That Film About Money. He earned his BA, MA, and PhD in English from The University of California, Berkeley.
Announced in January, Netflix will open its office for Latin America at the end of this year, in 2021. Netflix will invest some $300 million dollars in 50-plus local and global original productions filmed in Mexico and set to premiere in 2021. If we add the $200 million that the company invested in 2020, Netflix Mexico will have spent half a billion dollars in two years by the end of 2021, Ramos confirmed. Netflix also expects to fully open its Latin American headquarters in Mexico in 2021, with over 100 employees by year’s end.
The company has continued to expand beyond drama series to delve into comedies, adventure, documentaries, action and unscripted fare. “Comedy, whether scripted or stand-up, is a good thermostat for gauging what’s popular out there,” said Ramos. Mexico’s rich tradition of telenovelas also provides a wealth of local producers, crew and talent for Netflix’s elevated dramas, he pointed out.