According to the website, Business Insider, it has been announced, this month, that there will be a Spanish version of the hit TV series ‘Breaking Bad’. Sony Pictures Television is in the early stages of planning a Columbian series called ‘Metastasis’, which is based on a chemistry teacher who, having been told he has terminal cancer, decides to become a crystal meth cook in order to secure his family’s financial future when he dies.
As well as changing the name of the series, the characters’ names have also been translated into Spanish. The use of colour in Breaking Bad signifies character traits, and localising the character names retains this symbolism. For example,
Walter White becomes Walter Blanco as “blanco” means “white” in Spanish.
Skyler White becomes Cielo Blanco as “cielo” means “sky” in Spanish.
Jesse Pinkman becomes Jose Rosas, from the word rosa which means pink in Spanish.
Breaking Bad has been viewed in 170 territories worldwide but until recently, had a niche viewership in most. But Sony Pictures Television has already sold the remake to every major Spanish-speaking television market across Latin America.
It’s interesting to think that in Latin America, dubbing is usually the preferred method for localising English programmes – in fact, some of the dubbing stars are more well-known than their original Hollywood counterparts! So why then, is so much investment going into a complete remake? Of course, the success of the American series worldwide is a contributing economic factor but there are also cultural factors to consider.
For example, the original series is set in New Mexico, which is in close proximity to Central and South America – this may have created greater interest in these regions to warrant a remake of the series in the Spanish language.
The distributors also expect the show to do well because many Latin Americans didn’t see the American version due to cable TV’s lack of penetration in that region.
Re-making the series will be a much more expensive and time consuming option than using a Spanish voice over service or even a Spanish subtitling company but I’m sure the Spanish and Latin American communities will be waiting expectantly for the arrival of Metastasis, and it will be a sure-fire hit.
You can watch the trailer for Metastasis below.