UPDATED: El Rey is going big with its inaugural slate. I’ve learned that the upcoming Comcast cable network from filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa’s FactoryMade is planning a 13-episode Latino James Bond-type series, with Rodriguez on board to direct the first episode from a script by Bob Orci.
In a surprise appearance at the Univision upfront presentation last month, Rodriguez announced that the first shows from El Rey will be a series version of his and Quentin Tarantino’s Dusk Till Dawn movie and an action series from Alex Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products. There were no further details provided, though I’ve learned that the K/O series is a big-budget adventure drama that is Latino James Bond in tone, but with more of a levity than the recent Bond movies. It centers on a super-star soccer player and notorious playboy who doubles as a highly-skilled spy, carrying out covert missions for a special branch of the CIA. I hear the 13-episode greenlight was based on a pitch as there is no script yet. The project originated from an idea Orci pitched to Rodriguez, which the two have since collaborated on. The K/O Paper Products series will be financed by Reliance’s Georgeville Television under the company’s mega three-year deal with El Rey to produce a minimum of six series at budgets rumored to be at least $3 million an episode. Indeed, I hear the 13-episode Orci/Rodriguez drama is being budgeted at over $40 million dollars as El Rey is betting on high-end dramas to cut through the clutter at its launch, eyed for late 2013-early 2014.