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Popstar Belinda to Headline ‘The Red Diamond,’ From Erik Barmack’s Wild Sheep Content (EXCLUSIVE)

CANNES —  Belinda, one of Mexico’s biggest popstars and a star of Netflix hit “Welcome to Eden,” is attached to headline “The Red Diamond,” the latest project from Erik Barmack’s L.A. and Mexico City-based Wild Sheep Content.

One of the fastest-growing of production companies in international markets, Wild Sheep has a production alliance with The Mediapro Studio.

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“The Red Diamond” is also set up at Mexico City’s Wild Sheep Content Latin America, headed by producer Jimena Rodríguez who produced “3 Idiots,” the second highest-grossing Mexican movie of 2017. Rodríguez was instrumental in helping bringing Belinda to the project.

A six-part series, “The Red Diamond” ticks multiple boxes which are keys to success in the current international TV scene.

It adapts hot IP: the same-title book series, described by Barmack as “a popular, sexy action thriller,” from Angy Skay, one of Spain’s most popular romance novelists.

“There’s a huge demand for escapist thriller content in Mexico and Colombia with shows like La Reina del Sur,’ ‘Who Killed Sara?” and ‘Pálpito’ dominating the streaming charts,” Barmack argued.

“Who Killed Sara?”  is a melodrama wrapped in a thriller, Fremantle’s Manuel Martí has observed. By the same count, “The Red Diamond” is romance wrapped in an action thriller, Barmack argued. “It’s an interesting genre that is kind of becoming a global phenomenon,” he added, citing the BBC’s “The Bodyguard,” Netflix’s “Night Agent” and Amazon Prime Video’s “Citadel.” “The Red Diamond,” however, is “more like romance and fun and action all at once,” he said.

Billed as a sexy revenge thriller, “The Red Diamond” stars Belinda as Micaela Bravo who escapes her family assassins as a child. As soon as she turns 18, she leaves her beloved grandmother’s home to begin building the influential and illegal Red Diamond club, to make her the most powerful woman in Mexico City for one sole purpose: To wreak revenge Alejandro López, kingpin of the world’s largest assassin network, who ordered her parents’ hit.      

Her plan gets complicated, however, when she falls in love with the dashing Jack García, a hitman Lopez hired to kill her.

“The Red Diamond” is the fourth title based on Spanish IP which Wild Sheep has transferred from Spain to Mexico after “Invitation to Murder,” a Netflix Mexico original based on a Carmen Posadas novel starring Manolo Cardona, Regina Blandón and Maribel Verdú.

Announced November, two new Spanish crime novels – “El Susurro del Angel” and “Pequeñas Infamias” added to Wild Sheep Content’s burgeoning line in Mexico-set, star-studded, character-driven crime thrillers.

“I just think big IP is going to win the day. But we’re not making big IP in the U.S. We’re skipping the U.S. entirely and going to the markets that are most appropriate for this type of content, which I think is really interesting,” Barmack told Variety.

The challenge is to make shows which are going to be big in both Spain and Mexico, he said. Here, Belinda’s attachment to star is key,

“The Red Diamond,” is a slice of Spanish IP. Belinda has 16 million Instagram followers. “If you think about her social media following objectively, she is one of the biggest musicians in the world right now and she’s Mexican and Spanish and Belinda has acted in a big Spanish Netflix hit show, ‘Bienvenidos a Eden,’” Barmack said.

“So the show is Spanish IP being presented through somebody who’s Mexican and Spanish, who’s huge in both markets and it’s also a new sort of thing for Mexico,” said Barmack. “I can’t think of other production companies or packaging companies that have done projects based on Spanish books that are selling in Mexico over the last year.”

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