Two of Portugal’s most international production houses – SPi, producer of the country’s first Netflix Original series “Gloria”, and Caracol Protagonista – are teaming up to co-produce crime drama series project “O Último Lobo” (“The Last wolf “).
The show tells the true story of Franklim Lobo, one of Europe’s biggest drug lords, exploring his rise and the corruption of the Portuguese police in the late 1990s. Portuguese filmmaker Bruno Gascon, whose credits include “Carga” and “Shadow”, is the writer-director.
The eight-episode series focuses on Castilho, an honest police investigator with a dark past, who considers it his personal mission to capture Lobo. He discovers during this investigation that what he defends is rotten, and that the Portuguese judicial police – the national judicial police agency – are accomplices of the biggest Portuguese drug trafficker of all time.
Lobo, considered the baron of cocaine trafficking in Europe, has repeatedly escaped justice in Portugal, Spain and Brazil.
It’s also the story of Ana, an archivist who never had the opportunity to be a police investigator, but who ends up becoming the only person who believes in Castilho and tries to help him.
“It’s definitely not a ‘good vs bad’ kind of story. It’s a story about the fight “good against evil” inside each person. It plays around the concept of how each of us has two wolves inside, one good and one bad. And the one that survives is the one that feeds,” said Catarina Araujo, Deputy Director of International Coproductions at SPi.
The show will premiere at Co-Pro Pitching Sessions at Conecta Fiction & Entertainment, taking place in Toledo, Spain from June 21-24.
Its story unfolds between Portugal, Spain and Brazil organically. “We intend for this story to be produced in a Portuguese/Spanish/Brazilian co-production, taking into account the plot of the story. In this sense, our main objective would be to attract a Spanish co-producer, but we are happy to share the project and welcome anyone who wants to be part of it,” said Araujo.
For SPi, the production branch of the Portuguese group SP Televisão dedicated to international co-productions, Spain is the country with which it has developed the strongest relationship in terms of co-production, and the region of Galicia in northern Spain in particular .
Since 2017, SPi has been developing several fiction series, documentaries and unscripted content in a co-production model with Spanish companies.
He co-produced “Dry Water”, a pioneering initiative in premium television production in Portugal, in conjunction with Portocabo (“Hierro”, “Rapa”) from Galicia. The first season aired on HBO, RTP in Portugal and TVG in Spain; a second season is in preparation.
Other highlights of SPi’s relationship with Spain include the documentary ‘A Mais Longa Jornada’ (‘The Longest Journey’), for Portuguese RTP and Spanish public broadcasters TVE and ETB.
“The first reason is obvious: we are neighbors and it just becomes easier in terms of logistics. But besides that, we also like to work together; we have similar approaches and ways of telling stories; but we also complement each other and bring something new to the table,” Araujo said.
“The Last Wolf” highlights a very productive alliance between SPi and Caracol Protagonista. The two companies are financing the development of the project.
“From the start, we started working together in order to capture support not only from Portugal, but from all over the world. We both use our different market know-how to make the show work. It’s a great experience, because it’s not often that Portuguese production companies work together in a co-production with the same objective: to make a high-quality series for the international market,” said Araujo.
Caracol, co-founded in 2016, is led by producer Joana Domingues. His shows have been sold out in several regions and have received awards and nominations at several international festivals.
“It’s definitely a relationship that we want to continue to invest in, and our strategy is to tell different stories in different parts of the country that we haven’t explored yet. Our goal is to follow the right stories, no matter where they are.” unfold and no matter where they come from,” added Araujo.
The attachment to “The Last Wolf” of Gascon, co-founder of Caracol alongside Domingues, suggests another strong argument for the project.
“Bruno has an impressive resume in Portugal and internationally as a director and screenwriter, and was recently nominated for a Sophia Award in Portugal. We are also very happy to have his creative contribution in the direction, as he is very good at telling complex and exciting stories like this,” Araujo said.