'Money Heist: The Phenomenon': 'La Casa de Papel' makers 'felt like the Beatles' after Netflix takeover
Who isn't addicted to the Spanish crime-drama 'Money Heist' aka 'La Casa de Papel' on Netflix? However, despite its widespread popularity, very few people know the real story behind how the small-time TV show became a global phenomenon.
A documentary on how and why 'Money Heist' sparked a wave of enthusiasm around the world for a lovable group of thieves and their professor spills true stories from behind-the-scenes and it will keep you glued to your screens. "Money Heist is a story about failure," the movie articulates. Created by Álex Pina and first broadcast on Spanish network Antena 3, it was not familiar until Netflix picked it up and slightly revamped the format.
Big flop to a major success
Director Jesús Colmenar says after the first season was out, it was "over" for them as it "flopped!" The cast and crew were "grieving." It was only after Netflix put the show on a global map did it start to grab eyeballs and the reactions poured like a tsunami wave. Apparently, they created two seasons instead of one and the episodes were re-edited to make them 45-50 minutes long. In fact, the show was initially intended to be a limited series.
The series follows El Professor, who brings con-artists and criminals together to pull off the ultimate heist of the Royal Mint of Spain and the Bank of Spain. As the episodes unfold, the missing pieces of the puzzle start to fit in together and the racy pace keeps viewers hooked.
The triumph was so huge that they not only earned a worldwide ranking of number two among TV shows across the globe but also big celebrities like Stephen King, Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappé all put on Salvador Dalí's masks — the biggest symbol used by the gang in the show at several junctions during the heist — and posted pictures on Twitter. If that was not all, Brazilian footballer Neymar even did a cameo on the show as a monk named Joao.
If the views were not enough to pull you in, did you know that 'Money Heist' also went on to win an International Emmy Award as Best Drama Series? The success of the show is quite surprising.
'We felt like the Beatles!'
After the initial success, Netflix got back to the team and asked, "Can you perpetrate another robbery?" Excited at first, the creators wanted to make sure they don't disappoint people. They pondered over it for at least two months and then decided to go with a new script.
But when the cast and crew started filming again, they realized everything has changed. The shoot location was full of people. "People were watching us like a soccer game," the director gasps with joy in the documentary, adding, "We felt like the Beatles!" The directors decided they had to "focus." They decided to not have any eye contact until they finished the scene. And once they started letting people come, a huge number of the audience came in and they had to take shelter in a room.
How a big set became 'absolute hell'
The perks: Now if the cast wants a private island or a Thai Buddhist temple, it's theirs! What's more, they can even get a military helicopter and rain down money in downtown Madrid! Sounds cool, right? But there are disadvantages too. The day the money rained down, the big set was an "absolute hell." The director walked like a madman that day and after every take that didn't work out, the bills had to be picked up.
From rain to sunshine and the blue skies, figuring everything out became total chaos but finally, the team did it! And then, they thanked each and every person watching out for them.
As the new season drops on Netflix this April 3 with eight new episodes, it will be interesting to watch the series, especially now that we also know a little scoop from behind-the-scenes, isn't it? To know more, catch the entire hour-long documentary on Netflix!