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TELEVISION Spain / USA

Simon West to direct the ambitious historical series Sin límites

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- The show will be a recreation of the epic feat undertaken 500 years ago by Portugal’s Magellan and Elcano, a Spaniard who became the first to sail around the world

Simon West to direct the ambitious historical series Sin límites
Director Simon West and producer Miguel Menéndez de Zubillaga during the Sin límites presentation today in Madrid

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:
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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 Sin límites (lit. “No Limits”).

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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:
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) 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:
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, Loving Pablo [+see also:
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). “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.”

Sin límites, 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.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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