Former Netflix exec Juan Mayne has hung his own shingle, Madrid-based N&L Films, which is bulwarked by strong talent relationships, a strategic alliance with Exile Content and a sure sense of market opportunities for Spain-based independent producers.
Exile Content and N&L Films have struck a first-look development deal. Jeff Glaser, who oversaw Netflix production finance in Mexico City and Madrid, has joined
N&L’s first slate include a Mexican remake of “Miracle in Cell No. 7,” co-produced by Rock & Ruz and Mexico’s Corazón Films, which will handle distribution in the country, and “Aristides: A Righteous Life,” the true-life account of a Portuguese diplomat who saved thousands from the Nazis in WWII, from Seanne Winslow.
N&L is also in conversations with with Lluis Quilez and Fernando Navarro – director and writer of Netflix Top 10 non-English movie “Below Zero” – to develop a true crime film based on a serial murderer dubbed as “El Jack el Destripador de Almería.”
Mayne is working on a sequel to Netflix’s “A pesar de todo,” with young Spanish writing duo Ana Puente and Javier Aguayo, and sci-fi-thriller “Paradoxum,” from scribes Manolo Campos and Gonzalo Navas. He is also in conversations with Mónica Lozano for the Spanish remake of Mexican blockbuster “¿Qué culpa tiene el niño?”
As already announced, N&L is co-producing “Mala Influencia” with Spain’s Nadie es Perfecto.
Launching N&L in Spain, Mayne can “capitalize on all the experience and contacts that I have accumulated at Netflix,” he said. Though spiralling, production costs are still significantly lower than the U.S. Spain’s ICAA, its national film agency, has powered up its subsidy fund, its budget passing €100 million ($109 million) this year.
N&L Films will focus on theatrical movie production, said Mayne. “Theatrical revenues are coming back, I do believe that people who stopped going to the movies during the pandemic are going to come back to the movies. We’re already seeing certain territories outperforming in 2023,” he told Variety.
Mayne will look to bring an entertainment emphasis to his movies that is not so usual for Europe. “I want to make films that entertain, empower and inspire. I believe in cinema as entertainment.
Applying the same thinking he used at Netflix, he intends to “identify opportunities, make film for underserved audiences. Three examples he cites are young adult movies, genre pics and “good family entertainment.”
Many of N&L titles will be made in co-production. “I’d rather have 10% of 20 projects, than 100% of two projects.I don’t want the risk, and collaboration breeds excellence, Mayne told Variety.
Almería Jack the Ripper Project, (Lluis Quilez)
A fiction feature inspired by true life story of the Jack the Ripper of Almería, who murdered a score or more sex workers. From Quilez and screenwriter Navarro, the team behind action thriller “Below Zero,” produced by Morena Films and ranking as No. 7 in Netflix’s Top 10 of most-watched non-English movie
“A Pesar de Todo,”
A sequel to the Netflix hit, penned by rated young screenwriter Ana Puentes, an ECAM alum, and Javier Aguayo, who penned episodes “Alpha Males.“ I do believe in supporting young talent. There’s very well established talent in Spain that everybody’s working with. Young talent needs opportunities,” said Mayne.
“Aristides: A Righteous Life,”(Seanne Winslow)
Based out of Portugal’s consulate in Bordeaux in WWII, Aristides issued thousands of Visas to Portugal, ignoring the covert instructions of Salazar’s government. Winslow, who made a splash co-directing “The Falconer,” is attached to write and direct.
“Don’t Blame the Kid” Spanish Remake
Starring “How To Get Away With Murder’s” Karla Souza, 2016 romcom “Don’t Blame the Kid” was huge in Mexico, grossing $14.4 million. Mayne and Mónica Lozano, whose credits include
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s feature debut “Amores Perros,” and Eugenio Dérbez’s “Instructions Not Included,” are now discussing the possibility of a Spanish remake. “A social clash screwball comedy,” said Mayne.
“Mala Influencia,” (Roger Gual)
From Kiko Martínez’s Nadie Es Perfecto and N&L Films, an adaptation of smash hit Spanish-language young adult novel “Mala influencia,” written by Teensspirit for Wattpad Webtoon. Roger Gual (“Seven Years, “Cable Girls”) directs.
“Miracle in Cell No. 7,”
Working multiple way streets, a Mexican remake of Korean original drama which will be co produced by N&L Films, Rock & Ruz and Mexico’s Corazón Films, which will distribute in Mexican theaters. “I convinced Miguel [Ruz] that it would make more sense to make it in Mexico because the box office potential in Mexico is just bigger. It’s a bigger market,” said Mayne.
A teasing mind-bending sci-fi thriller from writing duo Manolo Campos and Gonzalo Navas, a writer on “The Boat.” “A journey through our most primordial fears. A story about confidence affection and responsibility as key elements of personal growth,” its creators say.