Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) has risen the ranks as Netflix’s most popular show, but if you’ve watched the series, it’s not entirely a surprise. The Spanish-language series is one of the streaming service’s best offerings filled with charismatic characters, wit, plot twists, and passion. However, it wasn’t always a Netflix Original, and the worldwide success has been an unexpected albeit pleasant turn of events for the creators, writers, and cast.
The Netflix documentary “Money Heist: The Phenomenon (La Casa de Papel: El Fenomeno)” explores what makes the show such a thrilling addiction that has resonated with people all over the world.
What I found most interesting is that the series broke down everything that went into creating this world, these characters, and a storyline that captivates audiences. In the same way that the Professor could anticipate every move that would be executed by the police, the creators of the series have been able to tap into what audiences will connect with, what they want to see, and what will make this their favorite series.
Here are some of our favorite fun facts from the documentary — SPOILERS from all seasons ahead:
1. The show was a flop
It’s honestly hard to believe that Money Heist didn’t find immediate success in Spain considering how good the series is. According to the documentary, the series started off strong with 4.5 million viewers, but with each passing week, viewership waned until it was down to 2 million.
For that reason, the series was canceled by Spanish channel Antena 3, which explains why season 2 had such a satisfying and fitting ending. Everything was wrapped up with the idea that the series was over and done with. And then Netflix came along and added to series to its list of programming.
Here’s where you learn about the power of word of mouth — Netflix didn’t promote the series at all but somehow (and rightfully so), it began picking up steam. People from all over the world began to discover just how brilliant the Professor was; they connected with a rogue group of robbers on a personal and intimate level. Eventually, Money Heist became the second most-watched series next to Netflix’s mainstay Stranger Things, and, of course, the streaming service was ready to capitalize by reviving the series and proposing the show creators another season. The rest, is, well, history.
In fact, the series is the most viewed Netflix series in France, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Portugal.
2. They consulted real-life experts to make things very realistic
Money Heist doesn’t half-ass anything because the world is so far-fetched that it has to feel real. And it does. You’re completely enveloped in every aspect of the Professor’s plan and often find yourself wondering, “how are they going to pull that off?” The team putting together the series felt the same way and thus, when it came down to plotting how they are going to infiltrate high-security places and what they’re going to be stealing, they decided to consult the real-life experts to get the answers.
Personally, I was in awe of how technical the second heist was from removing the gold from the underwater vault and melting it down. The research included hiring a marine engineer to help with the construction of the antechamber that it used to go into the vault and remove the gold.
When it came to the melting down part, a father-and-son metalworker duo served as advisers on how to properly melt down 90 tons of gold into little pellets that could easily (we use that term loosely) be smuggled out. The experts were even used as extras to ensure the process was done correctly. The only difference is that they used copper instead of gold in the scene since it’s cheaper!
3. There’s a lot of movie magic
You didn’t actually think they used real gold in the underwater scenes, right? There’s plenty of movie magic that goes into bringing the world of Money Heist to life, and a lot of it is fixed in post-production. Take for example the gold, which was just styrofoam coated in a gold color that began to concave after being submerged in water and needed to be edited piece-by-piece, frame-by-frame.
However, there are elements that are truly crafted in a way that keeps everyone on their toes. The team built a set that they then submerged underwater so it would look realistic and make it seem like water was rising once they broke in.
The scene where the blimp flies over Spain at the kickstart of the second heist and all the money falls from the sky really happened, though, it wasn’t real money falling onto hundreds of extras — that would require production to stage an actual heist. The scene may have been minor, but it was necessary to get it just right in order for it to have the desired effect, which meant collecting and throwing the money over and over for several takes as the crew struggled to get it to fly in the right director. Eventually, it began raining and the paper money began melting. Moral of the story is that things go wrong just like in the Professor’s carefully crafted plan.
And the boat scene where the gang reached international waters was not filmed on a chilly and gloomy day. In fact, it was shot during a scorching hot day in the Philippines and everyone was sweating and ready to pass out from the heat. They pulled it off, right!?
4. They take risks
The idea of “no risk, no reward” definitely comes into play here. When you watch the series, you’re constantly on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen next, if the plan will go off without a hitch, and what obstacle will come crashing down on the team. The thrill is a product of the cast and crew’s desire to keep you on the edge of your seat. They wanted to make a series that’s unpredictable, and the only reason to do that is to take big risks with every storyline and every character. We see that with their decisions to kill off beloved main characters because it’s the only way to keep the storytelling authentic.
Which…. leads us right into this next point (see below)!
5. The show is written on the fly
There’s a general plan for the series but unlike the Professor’s carefully thought out and meticulous plans that anticipate every move, the series is written in the “heat of the moment.” That means that very few scripts are written in advance. The writer’s team is always working as the cast is filming to add in scenes, switch up dialogue, or change the direction of the series completely.
If you think about it, it’s kind of brilliant because not only are you unsure of what’s going to happen next since it leaves the actors in suspense, but it allows the characters to react authentically to what is happening.
Obviously, this requires everyone to have their head in the game at all times but also adds a lot of pressure and stress. The show creator Alex Pina says he wakes up and is terrified going into work everyday. Essentially, that’s the anxiety the robbers would be feeling in a real life heist.
6. It has some very famous fans
Plenty of celebrities have jumped into the red jumpsuits and joined the resistance including Stephen King and Brazilian soccer player Neymar, who was so obsessed with the series that he snagged a role in the series as a monk! Who would have thought?
7. The imagery is part of the resistance
When you think of Money Heist, there’s some imagery and symbolism that comes to mind including the red jumpsuits, the Dali mask, and, of course, Bella Ciao. There’s no way you watched the series and didn’t get the song stuck in your head for days on end.
Remember how I said show creators and writers knew what they were doing? Yeah, that was purposeful. The series uses the color red as it is usually associated with blood and passion. Red has become the show’s signature color. The song, which was sung by Italian anti-fascist partisans in World War II, has become the anthem. It was first sung when Moscow hits dirt in the Mint of Spain and the whole cast erupts in a euphoric celebration in season 1.
It’s later juxtaposed with a somber rendition by the Professor and his brother, Berlin, which allows the song to take on new and deeper meaning. It eventually becomes synonymous with being the symbol of the resistance and rebellion against the government. The song is being sung all over the world during protests, riots, and more.
Netflix Announces Two-Part Season 5 for ‘Money Heist’ – Find Out When It Will Premiere
La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) finally has a premiere date on Netflix! In fact, it has two premiere dates lined up for 2021!
The fifth season, which will serve as the popular show’s final season, will be broken up into two parts.
Money Heist Part Five, Volume 1 will drop worldwide on September 3, while Volume 2 will arrive a few short months later on December 3.
Both parts will include five episodes each for a total of 10 episodes.
Netflix also released a dramatic, slow-motion trailer pumping up the final season, and from the looks of it, everyone’s lives are on the line.
There’s no turning back from this heist as the police and the military close in on The Professor’s gang with guns blazing.
The season picks up where season 4 left off with the gang rescuing Lisbon and bringing her inside Madrid’s Bank of Spain, where they’ve been posted for four days.
Outside of the bank, the Professor has been captured by Sierra, who has gone rogue and is on the run.
“The most important moments are those we understand when there’s no return,” Tokyo, the protagonist and narrator, says in the trailer.
As gunfire erupts in a full-on war with the authorities, she notes: “there’s no turning back.”
Series creator Alex Pina teased that the final season would “put The Gang on the ropes.”
“In volume 2, we focus more on the emotional situation of the characters. It is a journey across their sentimental map that connects us directly to their departure,” he explained.
‘Money Heist’ Wraps Production on Season 5 – When Will It Premiere?
Netflix is gearing up for one final heist.
Spanish-language series La Casa de Papel, also known as Money Heist, has wrapped production on season 5.
The series made the announcement on social media, writing: “What started as a heist, ended as a family.”
What started as a heist, ended as a family.
It’s a wrap on Part 5 of La Casa de Papel / Money Heist.
Thank you to all the fans for being part of La Resistencia! We can’t wait to show you how this story ends. pic.twitter.com/ey2TuEZENh
— Netflix (@netflix) May 14, 2021
Production resumed on the fifth and final season last August after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The upcoming season will star Úrsula Coberó (Tokyo), Álvaro Morte (The Professor), Itziar Ituño (Lisbon), Pedro Alonso (Berlin), Miguel Herrán (Rio), Jaime Lorente (Denver), Esther Acebo (Stockholm), Enrique Arce (Arturo), Darko Peric (Helsinki), Hovik Keuchkerian (Bogotá), Luka Peros (Marseille), Belén Cuesta (Manila), Fernando Cayo (Coronel Tamayo), Rodrigo de la Serna (Palermo), Najwa Nimri (Inspector Sierra), and José Manuel Poga (Gandía).
Many of the cast members shared touching messages on social media thanking fans for their love and support ahead of the final season.
It’s unclear when the series will premiere, but fans are hoping it’s sometime soon.
Elite, another hit Spanish series, returns for its fourth season on June 18th. I doubt the shows would want to compete with each other, so my guess is LCDP may premiere in August or September.
We can’t wait to see how it all ends.
Bella Ciao – ‘Money Heist’ Confirms Fifth and Final Season on Netflix
“The heist comes to an end.”
That’s the message posted on the official La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) Twitter account.
It confirms what fans have feared — that Netflix’s Spanish-language drama is officially coming to an end after the fifth season. It’s also a confirmation that the series has been renewed for a fifth season, which was a given not only because of the show’s massive success but also considering Alvaro Morte (the Professor) posted a photo that production on the season was underway.
— La Casa de Papel (@lacasadepapel) July 31, 2020
Entertainment Weekly reports the series will officially begin production on Monday in Denmark before venturing to Spain and Portugal.
The season will wrap up the ongoing heist at the Bank of Spain, which is where season 4 left off.
The eight-episode fourth season, which premiered in April, ended with the robbers inside the bank losing a critical member of the team as the Professor is ambushed by the former police inspector, Alicia Sierra, who has gone rogue.
According to Pop Culture, series creator, Alex Pina, said the series will be “moving from a chess game — a mere intellectual strategy — to a war strategy: attack and contention” in the final installment.
He also went on to say it’s the “most epic” yet, which is hard to believe since every season has been epic, thrilling, and full of anxiety.
“Adrenaline is within Money Heist‘s DNA. Every thirty seconds things take place and disrupt the characters, a turn of the screw to the action. The adrenaline mixed with feelings arising from absolutely complex, magnetic, unforeseeable characters will continue until the end of the heist to the Bank of Spain,” Pina said. “However, the gang will now be pushed into irreversible situations, into a wild war: it is the most epic part of all the parts we’ve shot.”
The first four seasons are available for streaming. You can also watch the documentary, which is equally as thrilling and informative as the series!
This isn’t the first time the show has said goodbye. While season 3 and 4 are “Netflix Originals,” the series initially aired on a free, local channel in Spain where it didn’t get much love and was cancelled after season 2. Netflix ended up putting the show on its service, and it began to gain momentum through word of mouth. As its popularity grew, it was hard for Netflix to ignore what millions of people worldwide were now aware of — the show was fantastic. And thus, they commissioned additional seasons!
Fast-forward to today, and Money Heist is one of Netflix’s most successful shows. The fourth season drew in over 60 million viewers making the show more watched than Tiger King and the top watched non-English show. It was also one of the most-watched shows during the coronavirus quarantine!
Goodbyes are never easy, especially when it comes to a show that has captivated the nation, but it’s better to say “ciao” now while the show is still in its prime. We wouldn’t want it to overstay its welcome, and the chances of them getting out alive and pulling off another heist are slim to none.
Netflix1 week ago
‘Outer Banks’ Gets Season 2 Summer Premiere Date on Netflix – Watch the Trailer
Featured3 days ago
2021-2022 TV Schedule: Find Out Which Shows Have Been Canceled or Renewed
Virgin River3 weeks ago
‘Virgin River’ Gets Summer Season 3 Premiere Date on Netflix – Here’s When It Returns
Editorials3 weeks ago
THEORY: Who Is Kate Getting Married to in the Flash-Forward on ‘This Is Us’?
Manifest1 week ago
Manifest Season Finale – [SPOILER] Dies (3×12 and 3×13)
Why Women Kill2 weeks ago
Why Women Kill Review – Alma Opens Pandora’s box (2×02)
Dynasty3 weeks ago
Dynasty Review – Everybody Loves The Carringtons (4×04)
Lupin6 days ago
Lupin Season 2 Recap – The Gentleman Burglar Is Smoother Than Ever