Late Chilean author Luis Sepulveda‘s short novel “Diary of a Sentimental Killer,” about a globetrotting hitman with a broken heart, is being developed into a TV series that will be sold by Latin America’s EO Media Distribution, the company that recently handled multi-window distribution of high-profile titles such as “Narcos” and Amazon’s “El Presidente.”
London and Rome-based production company BlackBox Multimedia, EO Media and Italy’s Leader Produzioni have teamed up to adapt “Diary of a Sentimental Killer,” which is described in promotional materials as an action-packed atmospheric noir laced with dark humor. The plan is for a limited series primarily in Spanish.
The high-profile project marks the first television adaptation of Sepulveda’s work, which has sold millions of copies worldwide, and the first adaptation of the bestselling author after his premature death from coronavirus in April 2020 at the age of 70, one of the first coronavirus fatalities in Spain.
The story follows an unnamed assassin who has been left by his lover the day before he’s set to embark on a crucial hit assignment that will take him to many European and Latin American cities.
“This man is struggling through change; he’s struggling to adapt, he’s struggling because he’s in love,” Ezequiel Olzanski, CEO of EO Media Distribution, told Variety. OIzanski added that the idea is that “We are going to fall in love with a guy who is actually a killer,” in a narrative that will “bring back the classicism of early James Bond and Humphrey Bogart, but within a modern world where rules have changed.”
Giuliano Papadia, CEO of BlackBox Multimedia, also pointed out that the hitman at the center of Sepulveda’s book is “a man from another time, who observes the world around him changing, striving and struggling to hold on to a reality that is slipping away from him.”
Sepulveda’s unique voice in this material, Papadia noted, has the makings of “a global, high-end television classic which will build a bridge between Europe and Latin America.”
Papadia added that the partners are in advanced talks with an Italian showrunner to come on board. “We will commission the [show’s] bible to the showrunner,” he said,” noting they intend to officially shop the packaged project to streamers and broadcasters early next year.
Cristina Zucchiatti Monteverde of Italy’s Leader Produzioni, who was instrumental in obtaining rights to Sepulveda’s book, said that to find something comparable, “we would have to turn to the world of graphic novels — in particular, Frank Miller’s ‘Sin City.’”
She also pointed out that Sepulveda has “rock star” status in Italy and is also a celebrity in Latin America and elsewhere.
Born in northern Chile in 1949, Sepulveda was jailed during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and is best known for “The Old Man Who Read Love Stories” and “The Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught Her to Fly,” which was made into a successful animation film by Italian director Enzo D’Alò. His books have been translated in 40 languages.