A&E Network has teamed with Mexican actors Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV for Niño Santo, based on the Mexican spiritual medical drama series exec produced by Luna and Garcia Bernal. The project has been put in fast-track development with an order for multiple scripts. A+E Studios is producing with Amblin TV and the original show’s producer Canana.
Niño Santo follows a group of young doctors who are sent to vaccinate the locals in a remote village, where they encounter an unusual cult headed by an enigmatic faith healer. The curiosity of the doctors leads them to become involved with this group in the name of science. As they witness Niño’s “miracles,” they begin to weigh scientific impossibility against the possibility of faith. (Watch the subtitled trailer above.)
The creative and producing team of the original series will be involved in the adaptation. Mauricio Katz and Pedro Peirano, who created the Mexican series with Pablo Cruz, will write the script. The two will executive produce with Canana’s Pablo Cru, Luna and Garcia Bernal as well as Ambin TV’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. Jeff Pinkner (Fringe) will serve as executive producer/showrunner.
“We are in constant pursuit of projects featuring great characters, compelling drama and the outstanding storytelling uniquely suited to the A&E brand, and Niño Santo fits all of those criteria,” said A&E EVP and General Manager David McKillop. “What sets this apart from other format adaptations is that we have the original creative team in place guiding the process to ensure their authentic vision remains intact for the American audience.”
The approach sure is rare. Last year, ABC bought comedy Irreversible with, in a first for an Israeli format, the adaptation written solely by the co-creator of the original series Segahl Avin. The script went to pilot and attracted David Schwimmer for the lead.
Amblin TV has seven series on the air, including another drama based on a Spanish-language format, Fox’s Red Band Society, which originated from Spain.