Over the past few days, Nerdist has given you an exclusive behind the scenes look at Matador, the latest scripted series from Roberto Orci, Dan Dworkin, Jay Beattie and Andrew Orci to premiere on Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey network. We’ve previewed the actual show as told by Orci, Rodriguez and leading man Gabriel Luna and we’ve explored the creative and renegade atmosphere on set. Now let’s get a closer look El Rey itself — a network that co-founder Rodriguez has curated for your entertainment.
If you don’t already know, El Rey is the 24-hour network founded and curated by Robert Rodriguez and his artistic collective. In addition to original scripted series like Dusk and Matador, Rodriguez really drives the point home that El Rey is a network for fans of cinema. Rodriguez tells me that El Rey is “filmmakers talking about why they made their movies, what their movies said, how they did them, introducing their own films so that it takes that extra step that even just by, sometimes even in our promos, we say why a movies significant so people know why it’s there. That was one thing that I really wanted to do. I thought, lets be like that friend sitting next to them on the couch telling them, we can do it without being very intrusive, tell them what’s going down.”
Orci agrees and is looking forward to additional El Rey original programming himself. “The cool thing about El Rey is that Robert is really going to curate what you see on there so he’s not just putting stuff on there that’s just programming, it’s stuff that he wants to see and he wants us to learn from as film students and as an audience. I’m excited to see Mark Burnett’s Lucha Libre show. I grew up in Mexico, so I remember those guys being sort of heroes in that country and by the way they never take off their masks even when they’re out to dinner. No one knows who the heck they are, so seeing a reality show about that to me is what I’m waiting for. I guess I’ll call that Mexican Kung Fu?”
Even though Gabriel Luna is the lead on an El Rey series, no one will have to twist his arm to tune into the additional programing on the network. “The El Rey content is right in my wheelhouse like grindhouse pictures, kung fu movies, Gordon Liu and Sonny Chiba. Just old, weird cult movies that one of the writers was playing the other day. It’s Ed Harris, Tom Savini (Luna is referencing George A Romero’s Knightriders)… So Robert talks about how he has these terabyte of this stuff that he plays while he’s working at his house or his hotel room or wherever he is and now he has a place to put it [on the network]!”
Matador, created by Roberto Orci, Dan Dworkin, Jay Beattie and Andrew Orci and starring Gabriel Luna, Alfred Molina, Nicky Whelan and Neil Hopkins, premieres on the El Rey Network on July 15 with the first episode being directed by network founder Robert Rodriguez.