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Eugenio Derbez will explore a lesser-known aspect of Hollywood history with his latest TV project.
The actor and producer (Apple TV+’s Acapulco, How to Be a Latin Lover) will star in and executive produce a comedy with the working title They Came at Night, which is in development at TelevisaUnivision’s streaming platform Vix+. The project is a workplace show about the cast and crew who made a Spanish-language version of Dracula in 1930 — filming at night and using the same sets and costumes as Tod Browning’s English-language version.
“I have not worked in scripted Spanish language TV comedy for well over ten years and was looking for something really special to come back,” Derbez said in a statement. “This story really jumped out at me because it tells the story of Latinos always having to accomplish more with less resources and harder conditions. It’s also a world we’ve never explored in Spanish language TV, Hollywood in the ’30s, but like every moment in U.S. history, the Latinos were there and doing their part even if history forgot them. And of course, it’s ripe for so much humor.”
They Came at Night is from Derbez and Ben Odell’s 3Pas Studios, which has a first-look deal with TelevisaUnivision. Rob Greenberg and Bob Fisher, who previously collaborated with Derbez on 2018’s Overboard and Hulu’s film The Valet, are the creators and writers.
“They Came at Night is a hilarious and inspiring comedy with incredible characters that exemplifies the wide range of storytelling and creative engine we have at Vix+, as we look to represent and serve Hispanics around the world,” said Rodrigo Mazon, executive vp and general manager of Vix+. “As a media company dedicated to working with the highest-level creatives in Spanish-language, we are thrilled to bring this series to life with Eugenio, Ben, and the rest of the visionary and imaginative team at 3Pas. They Came at Night is just the beginning of our work together.”
Directed by George Melford — who didn’t speak Spanish but used an interpreter to convey his directions to the cast — the Spanish-language Dracula was made simultaneously with the Bela Lugosi classic, part of an effort by Universal Pictures to produce versions of its films for other countries in the days before dubbing became standard practice. It was released in Cuba and a few U.S. cities in 1931 but quickly fell out of circulation. A print was discovered in the 1970s, leading to wider knowledge and appreciation of the film — some critics declared it was better than Browning’s version.
Greenberg and Fisher will executive produce along with Derbez, Odell and Javier Williams for 3Pas Studios. Visceral, 3Pas’ Mexican production services company, will handle those duties for the project.
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