HBO Europe to Produce 'El Pionero' Docuseries About Spanish Politician

The series follows on announcements for Isabel Coixet’s 'Foodie Love' and Alex de la Iglesia’s '30 Coins' for HBO in Spain.

HBO Europe has unveiled its latest project, a nonfiction miniseries turning on a colorful Spanish politician, in the works for a 2019 premiere.

An original production for HBO Europe in Spain, El Pionero will follow the life story of Jesus Gil, the eccentric former mayor of Marbella and president of Madrid’s Atletico soccer team whose shady dealings brought him down in the early 2000s.

JWP is producing for producer-director Enric Bach (Muerte en Leon) based on a script by Bach and Justin Webster (Amazon’s Six Dreams) and pulling from previously unseen archive footage and exclusive interviews about Gil’s life. The show will run four one-hour episodes.

"Jesus Gil’s life has all the elements of a great story," Bach noted, “starting with the most important: an unpredictable protagonist capable of undermining laws and institutions and, at the same time, seducing spectators and voters with his enormous magnetism.”

"We are convinced this series will bring great value to our service and our brand. It’s the source of surprises and fascination, like Jesus Gil himself was in his day," said Miguel Salvat, commissioning editor of original programming for HBO España.

Salvat and Hanka Kastelicova will serve as executive producers for HBO Europe. The show will premiere simultaneously across European territories.

HBO Europe has also greenlit series in Spain this year by local auteurs Isabel Coixet (eight-part Foodie Love) and Alex de la Iglesia (horror series 30 Coins). Its series Patria, based on the best-selling Basque Country-set novel, started production in March for directors Felix Viscarret and Oscar Pedraza.