In the polygon of Cobo Calleja, in Fuenlabrada, has settled a Roman military camp that resists the expansion of Chinese businesses. There, in the Elamedia studios, two seasons have been filmed at the same time Just before Christ, a Roman comedy created by Pepón Montero and Juan Maidagán (duo responsible for Pluto B.R.B Nero and screenwriters in Camera cafe) that Movistar + will debut this spring. Julián Martínez, Xosé A. Touriñán and Cecilia Freire head a wide cast and in the direction of half of the dozen chapters of both deliveries have been Borja Cobeaga (Pagafantas) and Nacho Vigalondo (The cronocrmenes).
It all started with some homemade recordings of comic gags about Romans. From there it happened to a project that nobody wanted and that after many years in a drawer, ended up liking in Movistar +. "We took another project, they told us that it was not the time, that we had something else, we remembered that we had this in a drawer, it is not that we have a thousand things, we took it and, to our surprise, the next day they said, ' we are going to develop it ", explains Montero during a break in the filming. "And then with them the relationship has been very good, they have been enjoying it more and more, we have not touched a single point, neither in the casting nor in anything, I bless every day, we were doomed to be at home already."
In an unimportant place in the Roman province of Thrace, far from everything, the young noble Manio (Martinez) spends his days, punished there for having been a coward. He is accompanied by his faithful slave and best friend Agorastocles (Touriñán). Thrace on the screen will be the Sierra de Guadarrama and a cave in Guadalajara. But the camp itself has been recreated on a set with great detail. "Basically it's Julián López spending the whores, getting into trouble," sums up the director.
The art team of the series traveled to Cinecitta studios in Rome and rented for recording very realistic objects used in films and series such as Gladiator, Rome, Cleopatra or Me, Claudio. "Cinecitta is like the great supermarket of gladiatorial cinema," says Cobeaga. "As much as the dialogues are very crazy and the situations are very outlandish, aspects such as setting, photography or characterization totally pulls down realism. [los creadores] They have done a lot of comedy and they know that the more realistic, the more grace they will make, "the director continues.
What they do not want to hear about in the shoot is about references like Brian's lifeor the Asterix comics. "We go beyond sketches with robes, it's more like M.A.S.H. [película y serie de Robert Altman que transcurría en un campamento estadounidense en la guerra de Corea] than to something else. There the series passed in a war, but in the background. Here the same happens a little. A battle is underway between Marco Antonio and Octavio for power, and our protagonists are in the background, they are not even secondary, they are tertiaries in a place with very little epic, "explains the director, Cobeaga also points to the cinema: a very choral series, it's as if Berlanga had made a film in a Roman camp. "
"At the beginning it was going to be a Mash style sitcom, as Borja says, to last seasons and seasons, now we have made them short, with a story arc for each season, although the episodes are autoconclusive, if we see that something remembers something. , we try to avoid it, "says Montero.
Just before Christ has a lot of adventures, but flees from the epic, says Borja Cobeaga, who describes the three episodes of which he has been responsible as follows: "One is a total vaudeville, with doors that open and close and misleading, another is like adventures , of a patrol that is lost in the forest and another one is like a romantic drama, it has a lot of adventures and it has nothing epic about it. Ben Hur, in the first place the chariot race and this is the last spectator who can not see it because it covers the head of the one in front ".