Robert Rodriguez used to have a hard drive that stored “all my favorite shows and movies and trailers and short films,” which he described as his personal TV network.
He wants his new cable channel, the El Rey Network, to be the large-scale equivalent of that. “I wished someone would curate a network where everything you saw, if you were attached to that sensibility, you’d know that you would be taken care of,” Rodriguez said Sunday (Jan. 12) at the TCA winter press tour.
El Rey launched in December and has its first original series, “From Dusk Till Dawn,” on track to premiere March 11. It’s based on the Rodriguez-directed, Quentin Tarantino-written movie of the same name, and Rodriguez wants the series to venture into territory he didn’t get to cover in the film.
“I delved a little deeper into Mesoamerican mythology, Aztec and Mayan mythologies, where a vampire culture could have existed back then, and found fascinating stuff that I only hinted at in the movie,” he says. “… I wished I could have explored it further, but there was no time in the movie. So I really wanted to go back and enrich that whole experience. If the film was the short story, this series is the novel.”
“From Dusk Till Dawn” stars D.J. Cotrona (“G.I. Joe: Retaliation”) and Zane Holtz (“Make It or Break It”) as the Gecko brothers; the cast also includes Don Johnson, Robert Patrick, Wilmer Valderrama, Adrianne Palicki, Eiza Gonzalez and Jake Busey. Rodriguez says the first few episodes of the show will retrace the story told in the movie, but it will go “wider [and] deeper” as well.
“In the movie, you only heard about things like the bank heist in Abilene or the breakout from the penitentiary and the trip to the Kahuna Burger, what really went down there,” Rodriguez says. “So it’s things that fans of the movie never would have seen. …
“It’s much more like reading a novel vs. what might have been in the Reader’s Digest version, cut down. It’s a much richer experience, and we tell it in a way so it only expands to go into [future] seasons.”
You can check the availability of El Rey in your area at ElReyNetwork.com.