photo by Johnny Au

photo by Johnny Au

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series premiered at SXSW in Austin, TX this past weekend and kicked off a weekend full of press and parties to announce Robert Rodriguez’s first series which had its U.S. premiere on his El Rey Network last night.

Being from Austin, TX and home of his Troublemaker Studios, it made complete sense that Rodriguez used SXSW as the premiere platform. The packed screening was introduced by the fest’s founder Louis Black as, “one of the screenings I’m most excited about.” The cast and Rodriguez sat in the crowd, some also watching the pilot episode for the first time.

Fans of the movie should be very excited about this new series, skeptics – take note. You may not think there’s a reason to revisit a film that worked so well, one that you think is perfect as is, one that has some of the most iconic scenes in cinema with some of the coolest, sexiest actors in the world – right? Wrong. Everything you love about the film will only be enhanced each episode. Rodriguez and writers have developed Quentin Tarantino’s crazy characters, with backstory, mystery and meat. There is so much more to know about the Fuller family and the Gecko Brothers and Mesoamerican mythology that couldn’t be fully explored in a two hour movie. Want more Santánico Pandemonium? Good, you’re about to go on a full journey with this vampire villian temptress, played by the very smart, strong and sexy Eiza González.

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carlos-cotoWriter and Executive Producer, Carlos Coto, elaborates.

The goal is to honor the movie, not just the obvious Rodriguez and Tarantino dialogue, and the mood and the coolness and all of that, but to honor the characters. I was always captivated by the characters. To me, the movie has always been about two moments. One, when Seth comes back to the hotel room after Richie has killed the teller and he says, ‘this is not who you are, what’s wrong with you’ – and that sets the story of the first season. This is a show about a guy trying to save his brother from something dark that he can’t control. And then there’s the Fuller family with a super emotional history of ‘what happened to mom?’ These are three characters who are reeling from the loss of Mom and are trying to deal with it. Jacob Fuller, this preacher who has lost his faith, is struggling with what happened in that car accident and his daughter is so nervous about it, she doesn’t even know how to bring it up to her father in that diner scene. So there’s an inherent emotional mystery that’s put forth and we expand on it.

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So back to last night’s first episode and why you should watch. First, Don Johnson is fantastic. He plays Texas Ranger Earl McGraw, a recurring character in this Tarantino/Rodriguez world and he is magnetic. There are some beautiful monologues that he expertly delivers to set the tone and mood of the entire show. McGraw has a partner this time around which introduces one of the show’s new characters, Ranger Freddie Gonazalez played by Jesse Garcia – the ‘white hat’ of the show. You’ll recognize the liquor store, and what was once just a great scene from the film is now filled out with beautiful storytelling and filmmaking, introducing us to a more developed Gecko Brothers world, including the immediate introduction of Drug Lord, Carlos Madrigal, played by Cheech Marin in the movie. Wilmer Valderama takes on the role this time around and will be a focal point of the entire series. D.J. Cotrona plays Seth Gecko and Zane Holtz plays his creepy brother Richie. It’s a new look, a new take and these actors have great screen presence and chemistry to make this a very cool and exciting journey worth your time.

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Throughout the 10 episode first season, we’ll be posting exclusive cast interviews with Robert Patrick, Jesse Garcia, Eiza González, D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz about getting cast, their work on the show and what the future holds. Now, to get ready for the show’s self-described, “WHITE-KNUCKLED SUICIDE LEAP INTO A CHUM BUCKET FILLED WITH THE SEX, GORE, AND FIST-PUMPING ACTION THAT’LL HAVE YOU SCREAMING”, take a look back at the original liquor store scene in From Dusk Till Dawn

FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: THE SERIES IS ON THE EL REY NETWORK IN THE U.S. AND NETFLIX INTERNATIONALLY. FIND YOUR CHANNEL HERE. US Fans: Every episode of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series will be available on Amazon.com, iTunes, Xbox and more, 24 hours after they air on El Rey Network

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