Disney has renewed for a second season Argentine psychological drama “Limbo – Hasta Que Lo Decida,” one of the companies earliest Star Plus Originals in Latin America.
The new order was announced this Saturday Oct. 9 by Leonardo Aranguibel, VP of production at the Walt Disney Company LatAm, in Cannes just after the world premiere of “Limbo” at Canneseries, where the 10-part series was the first to bow in main competition.
The decision to order Season 2 was made given the results of the first 10 episodes, now in post-production, and selection for Canneseries, Aranguibel explained.
Produced by Star Original Productions in partnership with Pablo Bossi’s Pampa Films and Gloriamundi Producciones, the series is developed by Argentina’s Mariano Cohen and Gastón Duprat, writer-directors of the Venice feature “Official Competition,” starring Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, and “The Distinguished Citizen.” “Limbo” is directed by Agustina Macri (“Soledad”) and Fabiana Tiscornia (“La reina del miedo”). All key creators are expected to return for Season Two, added Aranguibel, who executive produces for Disney Latin America alongside Mariana Perez and Fernando Barbosa.
Two years back, Disney teamed with Pampa Films to make “Monzón,” which was selected for France’s Series Mania, closed Spain’s Conecta Fiction and won Best Series at the MipCancún Produ Awards. “Limbo” raises the bar in terms of artistic ambition.
Written by Margarita García Robayo (“Cosas peores”), Ana Navajas (“Estás muy callada hoy”), Nicolás Diodovich (“Terapia alternativa”) and Javier Van de Couter (“Historia de un clan”), the series turns on Sofia (Clara Lago), 28, a young millionaire heiress who lives a life that others can only dream of – or follow on Instagram – party, partying her life away in Madrid nightclubs, doing drugs, alcohol, sex. She also has bubble baths.
But it’s clear from early scenes that something is wrong. Part is physical: She has a hearing impediment, wears a cochlear implant. But she’s hiding from herself and her past.
“At parties, you don’t think. That’s why I like them,” she says in an extended voiceover filling the early stretches of “Limbo.”
Is Sofia happy? Almost certainly not. Sometimes, she bursts out in tears, for seemingly no reason at all, she admits. Something’s pushed her to live 15 years away from Buenos Aires in exile in Madrid, distant from her family which owns one of Latin America’s biggest cosmetics businesses. Her exile may have something to do with her brothers, who nickname her “Sou Sou,” as in “so so,” decrying her lack of talent, as “the only mediocre part of a exceptional lineage,” she complains.
Then her father dies, forcing Sofia back to Buenos Aires, to contend with a entangled legacy that will expose a dark side of her past, the synopsis says.
Limbo is defined in early subtitles as a “state of neglect or oblivion of the surrounding world. Lack of a sense of reality. A latent state. Suspension of time.” “Limbo…Hasta Que lo Decida”, the series, drives to the heart of one of Latin America’s banes: The disavowal of the ultra rich of their own reality and any responsibility for the region’s endemic sorrows. It also weighs in as a calling card for the production values and social relevance of Star Plus Originals as they begin to release or hit big festivals around the world, “Limbo” being the first.
Variety talked to Araguibel, Macri and Tiscornia just after the series’ world premiere at Canneseries.
From the very first scene of Sofia sprawled on her bed surrounded by childhood memorabilia while an extended definition of “limbo” plays out over the screen, there’s a sense of the series turning on disavowal – both Sofia’s about her own trauma and the family’s about its true past. Could you comment?
Tiscornia: That’s a very interesting interpretation. “Limbo,” in a metaphorical and deep sense, turns on how a person tries to return to the scenes of her trauma and from a point of view of childhood suffering, find release, advance where she’s been paralyzed, and break through her agglutinated emotions. Sofia has built a life, but it’s separate from her. Now, she can discover if, returning, she can confront a future with other weapons.
After Sofía gets on a private jet and flies back to Buenos Aires for her father’s funeral, the series narrates her return to a patriarchal context, a family business now run by her two brothers who have rejected her, writing her off as “Sou-Sou.” There’s a sense that the series will increasingly follow Sofia’s empowerment, as she proves her worth while discovering the family’s real past….
Macri: Rejection is maybe too strong a word but, yes, she clearly forms part of a traditional family with a very patriarchal structure and a hugely powerful father who over-protected her, gave her everything she wanted. When the father dies, she can feel a certain sense of liberation to try become who she wants to be.
The series is told – literally when it comes to her voiceover – from Sofia’s point of view, from that of a young hypoacoustic woman, which frees a director from any sense of immediate realism, allowing you to show what Sofía sees, feels and hears when she wants to….
Macri: This was one of the things which really excited me about the project. To know that we had a protagonist who’s a woman, with her deafness and particular way of hearing. This gives her a very singular way of seeing the world. We tried consistently to play as much as we could with this and explore her sensibility when seeing the world to see things as she does….
You take this to the point of Episode Two acquiring a dominant oneiric blue tone, or shooting an intimate scene, her reencounter with her best friend, in mid-shot; or counterpointing action with a contrasting soundtrack…
Aranguibel: It’s key what you’re saying. The early episodes hint subtly at the trauma which leads to her deafness. Not being able to hear transforms her, closes her into herself. It’s one key to the series told by such a present and personal narrator. The original idea came from Diego Lerner, president of Walt Disney Company Latin America. He has a direct connection with people who suffer deafness and with an organization in Argentina. It was Diego’s idea to work around the theme of deafness and the transformation of a fragile, lost woman; how she finds empowerment and encounters herself and transforms her world.
Tiscornia: The implant and deafness in general hadn’t really been treated in many series. We now have “Sound of Metal” but it’s one of the original aspects of the series….
You teamed with Pampa Films for “Monzon,” Leonardo, which set a new bar in Latin America, I think, for its sound design and soundtrack….
There are various throughlines with “Monzón.” It’s the same production house, Argentina’s Pampa Films. And the composer’s the same, Sergei Grosny. Given Sofía’s hypoacoustic, the soundtrack in “Limbo” can have even larger narrative importance than in “Monzón.” It’s a beautiful piece of work, turning on when Sofía connects and turns off her implant.