Moreno's partner confirms that the producer swindled him 35 million euros


Alejandro Roemmers, the partner of television producer José Luis Moreno. / ep

He assures that they considered having Leonardo DiCaprio as the star of the series, centered on the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi

EP

Alejandro Roemmers, the partner of the television producer José Luis Moreno, has ratified this Wednesday before the judge of the National Court in charge of the 'Titella case' that he was scammed for the making of the series on the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, a production "very mediocre" that was like an afternoon soap opera.

Legal sources have indicated to Europa Press that in his statement as a witness before the head of the Central Court of Instruction Number 2, Ismael Moreno, the Argentine businessman has assured that he feels cheated by the ventriloquist, whom he has accused of having defrauded him of 35 million euros.

The origin of the alleged scam dates back to 2016. Since he had successfully made the musical 'Franciscus' that year, and after taking it to Spain with Moreno in 2018, Roemmers decided to set up a joint venture with the famous ventriloquist in 2018 --Dreamlight International Productions-- "fully financed" by Roemmers through his company Franciscus Productions.

Before the magistrate, however, Roemmers has shed light on the state of the series. Thus, and contrary to what Moreno himself assured before the judge two weeks ago, Roemmers has made it clear that the series was not done, that the chapters were defective and that the script for 'Glow & Darkness' did not fit his vision of what would be a production centered on the figure of a saint as it does not have sufficient spiritual depth.

Guided by his religious devotion

The Argentine businessman even corrected part of the story devised by Moreno after learning that the producer did not believe in God. As he would have pointed out to the judge, he himself was in charge of "modifying the spiritual part of the series" because, in his opinion, he did not have a high level.

He has also provided details about his functions at the head of the production and about the contract that both signed. Roemmers, as he has defended, was not only the capitalist partner who financed the series: he was also in charge of the direction, production and even the scenarios.

In that work, he would have even traveled to Malta to examine the studies in charge of the special effects. Moreno himself assured in his statement as investigated before the magistrate that the series on Francisco de Asís could compete visually with 'The last samurai'.

Trip to Morocco to review the recording

In addition, Roemmers has confirmed that he traveled to Morocco, one of the locations chosen for filming, where he verified the progress of production. Of course, contrary to what Moreno stated, he would never have pointed out that the 35 million contributed to the Dreamlight company might not be enough to face such an ambitious production.

However, on his trip to North Africa, Roemmers did find that there was a great display and he was pleased to meet the director of photography José Luis Alcaine, with whom he would have coincided in highlighting the benefits of some of the scenes that were filmed.

The producer has explained that if he signed a contract with Moreno to carry out this project, it was because he thought that the series would be sold to Amazon at a rate of five million euros per chapter. And all this, because Moreno had already sold another production to the American company: 'Reinas'.

At one point Movistar would also have entered the race to win the series, but the amount offered (3 million and a plus based on its success) would be far from what was initially proposed. Roemmers has pointed out that if finally one of the two companies had contributed those amounts, he would not have felt cheated.

They raised calling DiCaprio for the casting

Initially, and before viewing any chapter, Roemmers was convinced that 'Glow & Darkness' would have a large cast of protagonists. In the casting they would have even considered having a well-known face from Hollywood like Leonardo DiCaprio.

However, he has maintained that he does not know the personnel costs and that, although he tried to be aware of more logistical details, he never managed to get access to them, despite the fact that he sent his goddaughter - who had studied cinema - - to provide them with part of the material. However, the subsequent viewing of part of the first three episodes served to make sure that the series was "very mediocre".

The filming of the series also had moments of anxiety, according to the Argentine businessman. The future of it came to be in danger when Moreno threatened to withdraw and leave it halfway alleging that he had other productions.

At that point, Moreno would have offered Roemmers to give him the series, but the Argentine had a special interest in the production ending, so he decided to contribute two million more and set a salary for Moreno for completing at least the first season.

To questions from Moreno's own defense, Roemmers explained that he appointed three people to verify the expenses incurred by Dreamlight. One of them, former Argentine rugby player Agustín Pichot, warned him that he had observed irregularities.

Specifically, Pichot revealed to him that Moreno "was giving away the money" and that the series suffered from "a lack of control and absolute discipline." However, Luis María Ansón, the person who was in charge of introducing Moreno and Roemmers, told the Argentine businessman that the ventriloquist was a respectable person.



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