YouTube has revealed details of its first Spanish-language project – boarding Gael Garcia Bernal-fronted Mexican heist thriller Museo, which has its North American premiere in Toronto.

The Google-owned company is to launch the film on YouTube Premium later this year after a theatrical debut. The film was inspired by the most infamous cultural artifact heist in Mexican history, when two regular guys looted 140 priceless Mayan and Meso-American pieces from Mexico’s National Anthropology Museum on Christmas Eve 1985.

Garcia Bernal stars alongside Leonardo Ortizgris and Alfredo Castro in the two-hour thriller.

Co-produced and co-financed by Panorama Global, Ring Cine, Detalle Films, Distant Horizon and Serendipity Point Films, it was written and directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios (Gueros), and was co-written with Manuel Alcalá (Bellas de Noche).  Museo premiered at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival, where Ruizpalacios and Alcalá won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay and was also nominated for a Gold Bear for Best Film and it has its North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival today.

García Bernal plays Juan Nunez and Ortizgris (Güeros) stars as Benjamin Wilson, a pair of thirtysomethings who can’t seem to finish veterinary school or leave their parents’ homes. Alfredo Castro (The Club) plays Dr. Nunez, Juan’s father and Simon Russell Beale (The Death of Stalin) plays Frank Graves, a rare art dealer, who plays a key role after the fateful Christmas Eve, when Juan and Benjamin decide it’s finally time to distinguish themselves by executing the most infamous cultural artifacts heist in all of Mexican history.

Museo is produced by Gerardo Gatica (Remember), Alberto Müffelmann (Bellas de Noche), Manuel Alcalá (Bellas de Noche), Ramiro Ruiz (Güeros) and executive produced by Moisés Cosío, Gael García Bernal, Anant Singh, Brian Cox and Robert Lantos.

Museo began over a decade ago, with a faint memory of a Christmas museum heist in the 80s. Research and word of mouth quickly laid out a vast story that spread far beyond Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology,” says Alonso Ruizpalacios.  “It had the perfect mix of narrative and anecdotal elements and I’m incredibly excited to collaborate with the talented Gael Garcia Bernal and YouTube to bring this Mexican tale to life and share it with the world.”

“As our first-ever Spanish language YouTube Original movie, Museo is one of the many exciting projects we have in the pipeline as we embark to expand our slate with more original series and movies in Spanish,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube. “We are extremely grateful to be working with such a talented director, cast and creative group of producers and executive producers to share this story globally.”

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