Warner Bros Discovery left Spain out of its clampdown on European original programs for HBO Max, and has now doubled down on the country by ordering a soccer comedy there.
Production is underway in Madrid on Playing Dirty (Monos con Pistola) The seven-part series comes from Jorge Valdano Sáenz and Pablo Tébar and is based on an idea from Carolina Bang and Álex de la Iglesia, whose drama 30 Coins is one HBO Max Europe’s most high-profile originals. The series is produced by Bang and de la Iglesia’s Pokeepsie Films, which is part of Banijay Iberia.
Playing Dirty follows the life of soccer agent Alberto Martín Ruiz, otherwise known as ‘Beto,’ as he leaves the comfortable life of working at a large soccer agency to go it alone and start his own venture. Navigating between his daily delirious struggle with soccer players and his stressful family life, his only solace is his girlfriend, Sonia. However, just when things start to work, disaster strikes, his biggest client leaves and his girlfriend dumps him.
Hugo Silva (Los Hombres de Paco), Dafne Fernández (Perfectos Desconocidos, Tierra de Lobos), Óscar Casas (Jaguar, Siempre Bruja), Gorka Otxoa (Velvet, Friend Zone), Miguel Ángel Sola (The Minions of Midas, Sola), Kira Miró (Ferpect Crime, La que se Avecina) and Diogo Sales (Game of Thrones) star and Adolfo Martínez (Zona Hostil), Secun de la Rosa and Rodrigo Ruiz-Gallardón will direct the episodes.
Creator Valdano Sáenz said: “Playing Dirty is a dramatic comedy that takes us into the crazy world of elite soccer but looks at the industry around it as opposed to the beautiful game. Specifically, it pokes fun at the hangers-on, sharks, and chaps as reckless as monkey’s holding guns who are desperate to build their lives around these footballers who become rich and famous overnight with little idea of how to handle it.”
Miguel Salvat, VP Original Programming and Commissioning Editor for Iberia, HBO Max added: “We live in a global society that idolizes young people who kick a ball and go on to earn fortunes and power comparable to big business tycoons. It’s this world of excess that Playing Dirty explores, and as we find out, it’s not just on the pitch where the players risk the most serious injuries.”
Executive producers for Pokeepsie Films are Bang, de la Iglesia and Valdano Sáenz. Salvat, Antonio Trashorras and Antony Root serve as executive producers for HBO Max. Production services fare provided by Monos Con Pistola La Series, which is part of Pokeepsie Films.
The commission comes after WBD put a stop to most production in Europe for HBO, as it moves towards a merged HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming service.
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