“The heirs of the land”: palace plots, historical novels and a lot of vineyard

In the novel La Catedral del Mar (2006), the writer Ildefonso Falcones immerses himself in 14th century Barcelona to tell the story of Arnau Estanyol: when he was a baby, his father Bernat ran with him in search of new possibilities, but when Arnau is about 10 years old, his father dies in a riot of scarcity and he must rise through the ranks to make ends meet in a society characterized by poverty and religion. The play became an affected aberration and in 2018 director Jordi Frades adapted it for a television series, premiering on Antena 3 and attracting over four million viewers. When Falcones wrote his sequel, Heirs of the Earth, it was only a matter of time before the process repeated itself. And four years later, the Estanyols return to the small screen on April 15, now on Netflix, to show what happened after the original events.

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Directed again by Jordi Frades (60, Barcelona), The Heirs of the Earth retains its characters from the first part, such as Aitor Vidriera or Michelle Jenner. But she has also added to the cast interpreters of the stature of Elena Rivera (29 years old, Zaragoza), Yon González (35 years old, Vergara) or Rodolfo Sancho (47 years old, Madrid). The three, who attended the interview by telephone, belong to this happy group of actors who have been accumulating the main roles on television for years. The trio agrees on the formula to move forward: a lot of dedication to the characters and a good flair when it comes to designating the roles. “I only reject them when the script doesn’t grab me or the character is flat and I don’t think they’re going to add zero to me…or even subtract me, which is the wrong thing,” Sancho explains. .

Actor Rodolfo Sancho as heroine in a moment from “The Heirs of the Earth”. ANDRE PADUANO/NETFLIX (ANDRE PADUANO/NETFLIX)

This was not the case with Los hehereros de la tierra, and Frades’ proposal captivated the actors from the first moment. In this new story, which picks up the work three years after the end of La Catedral del Mar, the focus is on Hugo Llor, the son of a deceased sailor, played by Yon González. His luck turns when he meets Arnau Estanyol, already one of the most respected men in town, who allows him to work in the shipyards as a shipbuilder. But when the Puig community, enemy and villain of history, sets out to overthrow Estanyol, Hugo Llor’s dream of becoming a shipbuilder fades away.

This is not the first time that Frades has directed a historical series, since he has experience directing Isabel and La Catedral del Mar, all produced by Diagonal TV, but it is also the second novel that ‘it adapts under the direction of Ildefonso Falcones. The filmmaker explains that there were no great differences between the settings of one work to another: “They are structurally quite similar, the story of a guri who grows up in the city of Barcelona and becomes a man. This is what happened in the first, but leaving aside the nuances, it also happens in the second. And if the first was very traumatized by the construction of Santa María del Mar, this one is because of the land, the vines and the production of broth, the means that were part of the commerce of Barcelona at the time and who weren’t so present in the Cathedral of the Ocean.

Trade and agriculture are some of the most prominent elements in Heirs of the Earth.Trade and agriculture are some of the most prominent mediums in Inheritors of the Earth.ANDRE PADUANO/NETFLIX (ANDRE PADUANO/NETFLIX)

Yes, it was more complicated filming at the level of the different locations that a series requires where 70% of the scenes were shot outdoors. Frades’ next challenge is no small one. The Catalan is the executive producer of the television adaptation of La novia gitana, the editorial aberration of Carmen Mola, the pseudonym under which the three winners of the Final Planeta Prize are signed. Frades, who already knows what it’s like to adapt a bestseller, can’t stand the pressure: “You have to think about the famous person who learned the trade and you have to think that the series must also attract the crowd “. successful. If you liked the novel and you have the rights to it, there is no point in changing it completely. So you end up working for the benefit of what the literary work is”. Ultimately, he believes the secret of a set is to capture “those memorable moments that you remember after playing well” on screen to preserve them. And in a series full of works from the first bars, be patient so that those who do not know the work “get hooked from the first moment”. On Friday, when Hugo Llor takes his first steps on television in late medieval Barcelona, ​​he will find out if he succeeded.

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