Breaking Bad lives on in Colombian remake


(From The Guardian) Breaking Bad fans worried about getting their fix now that the TV show has come to a heart-stopping conclusion, can turn to Metástasis, a new Spanish language adaptation of the US series made in Colombia.

The storyline is the same: a mild-mannered chemistry teacher with terminal cancer and bad insurance turns to cooking methamphetamine to secure his family’s future. By the end of the series the lead character has gone from science geek to drug kingpin.

In Metástasis, instead of Walter White, there is Walter Blanco; Jesse Pinkman becomes Jose Miguel Rosas. Instead of cooking meth in a mobile home in the desert, the roving lab is in an old school bus in the highlands outside Bogotá. The term “breaking bad” does not translate to Spanish so producers chose metastasis in a reference to the spread of a cancer.

But the rest is the same. “There is a universality to the story and its characters that we recognized could work very well,” Angelica Guerra, Sony Pictures Television managing director of production for Latin America, told the Hollywood Reporter.

As one of the world’s leading sources of cocaine, Colombia is accustomed to television programmes about drugs, kingpins and mafias, which are popularly known as narcosoaps. Though derided by critics, the shows receive some of the highest ratings and have been successfully exported to other markets in Latin America.

Veteran actor Diego Trujillo, who plays Walter Blanco, is no stranger to such soaps nor to adaptations of US series. He played the Rex Van De Kamp character in the Latin version of Desperate Housewives (Amas de Casa Desesperadas) and made an appearance in the Colombian remake of Greys Anatomy (A Corazón Abierto).

Such remakes can be a risky venture in a region in which more than half of the population has access to pay-TV, which broadcast popular US television series in English with Spanish subtitles. The final season of Breaking Bad began on 5 October on AXN channel. But Sony is aiming for the other half of Latin Americans, who have not seen it and has already sold the first season of Metástasis to other Spanish-speaking markets and in the US.

“Breaking Bad is a fantastic series that wasn’t widely seen in Latin America,” Guerra said after the release of the Metástasis trailer, in English.

But those who are hooked on the original fear the Latin version may not be up to scratch. One Colombian blogger Edgar Leonardo Medina wrote that Metástasis is a “clumsy adaptation of a masterpiece” which will pay “poor tribute” to the original. Comments on the YouTube video of the trailer express similar doubts, and “dislikes” outnumber “likes” three to one.

But Sony says Metástasis producers have consulted with Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan to ensure the authenticity and quality of the show.

(read the full story)




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