Simon West to direct the ambitious historical series Boundless
- Rodrigo Santoro and Álvaro Morte will star as Magallanes and Elcano in an upcoming Amazon series on a historic feat that united Spain and Portugal in triumph: the first circumnavigation of the globe
UPDATE (23 March 2021): Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro (who recently appeared in Westworld and Reprisal) and Álvaro Morte (best known for his work in La casa de papel) will portray Magallanes and Elcano in an international coproduction developed by Amazon Prime and RTVE. Filming will kick off on 26 April in the Basque Country and Navarre, before setting a course for Madrid, Seville and the Dominican Republic.
It’s now the fifth centenary of the round-the-world trip initiated by Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan and completed by his subordinate, Basque man Juan Sebastián Elcano, and various celebrations are being organised to mark the occasion, some of which fall under the domain of culture. And so, while the high-octane animated flick Elcano & Magellan [+see also:
film profile] was released a few months ago (ending up as a finalist in its respective category at the most recent Goya Awards), an ambitious TV series revolving around the same epic accomplishment has now also been presented. It is to be directed by British filmmaker Simon West, who is popular for helming US action films such as Con Air (1997), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and The Expendables 2 (2012). It will be entitled Boundless.
The TV show will be shot very soon, in Spanish, in spectacular natural settings on the Canary Islands, in the Basque Country and in the Dominican Republic, as well as at Pinewood Studios in the UK. Over four episodes – each lasting one hour – it will recreate the thrilling and perilous voyage of the five ships that left Spain in 1419 to head off in search of the unknown. The ships Victoria and Trinidad will be completely reconstructed for the production, while a replica of the Nao Victoria will be used, the latter being the only one of the expedition’s five vessels that returned to port and thus became the first to sail around the world.
Patxi Amezcua (Gun City [+see also:
film profile]) has penned the screenplay, which will portray in minute detail this nigh-on impossible mission that, it was hoped, would open up a new route to the “spice islands” and which ended up changing the course of human history by demonstrating that the Earth was not flat, as was thought at the time. It was a feat – one of the greatest in history – that forever transformed the economy, astrology and knowledge of the entire planet.
We chatted about all of this with producer Miguel Menéndez de Zubillaga (The Endless Trench [+see also:
interview: Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño an…
film profile], Loving Pablo [+see also:
film profile]). “This is a project that we started discussing in around 2003. In 2007, we started to develop it. Then we brought it to a halt, and we picked it up again four years ago. It started off as an English-language film, but in the end, it will be shot in Spanish: we’ve gone through a lot of directors and phases, but they’ve all enriched the film somehow. The production design will be very cinematic. And we chose Simon West on the basis of the project we originally dreamed of making: we didn’t want to shoot a boring historical film, with loads of maps and never-ending conversations, but rather an epic, entertaining movie with a sense of the spectacular. In this sense, I have every confidence in West, as he has some fantastic tools for reaching the general public and enabling a worldwide audience to discover a virtually unknown hero and an incredible real-life feat.”
Boundless, which will boast a cast of internationally renowned Spanish-speaking actors, is a Mono Films and Kilima Media production for RTVE and Amazon Prime Video. ETB is also a partner on the project.
(Translated from Spanish)
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