Walter Mercado, the famed gender nonconforming Puerto Rican astrologer, is getting the TV treatment.
Eugenio Derbez’s 3Pas Studios and A Really Good Home Pictures are teaming with the estate of the late entertainer, Shanti LLC, to develop scripted and unscripted programming based on Mercado’s cultural influence and status as an icon within the Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities.
Mercado, most recently the subject of Netflix’s Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado, started out as a dancer and actor in his native Puerto Rico and became a local TV personality after sharing astrological predictions in his signature robes and capes and would go on to become a cultural personality. His astrological shows also aired for decades in Latin America and the United States.
“I can think of no better partners than 3Pas Studios and A Really Good Home Pictures to present Walter’s life to the generations that loved him and those to come,” said Theodore B. Gekis, who manages Mercado’s estate and will oversee all projects that come through the deal. “Although Walter has passed on, his message about self-empowerment, self-acceptance and our interconnectedness with the universe live on in humankind and need to be celebrated daily. Love, spirituality, generosity and goodwill are universal, and become more and more relevant with each passing day. Walter was a man ahead of his time, and the time has come for the rest of us to catch up with him.”
Gekis will exec produce any and all potential projects alongside Derbez and his 3Pas Studios’ Ben Odell and Sonia Almanza Gambaro. ARGHP’s Andy Fraser and Katie Politanoff will oversee for the company.
“I have always deeply admired Walter and am personally thrilled to have the opportunity to honor his legacy of love, hope and positivity,” said Derbez, whose bilingual production company 3Pas remains based at Lionsgate (English-language films) and Televisa Univision streamer ViX (Spanish-language fare). 3Pas’ credits include Overboard, How to be a Latin Lover, Acapulco and the upcoming The Valet.
Mercado’s nieces, Aida Benet Suarez, Betty Benet Mercado, Dannette Benet Mercado and Ivonne Benet Mercado, control the Mercado estate, Shanti LLC. The latter trio continue to publish horoscopes and other astrology under the banner of Las Estrellas de Walter. “All of Walter’s nieces are excited that 3Pas Studios and Eugenio Derbez along with Andy Fraser and A Really Good Home Pictures will work together to help carry on our uncle Walter’s message of love, positivity and inclusion and introduce his legacy to new generations,” said Dannette Benet Mercado.
“I knew that we would need a partner with strong connections to Walter’s legacy — one that would also respect and continue to spread the love and community that Walter championed in life. 3Pas Studios, with Eugenio, Ben and Sonia, is an excellent fit and I’m thrilled they came on board,” said Fraser.
Derbez and 3Pas are repped by CAA and Behr Abramson. Shanti LLC is repped by Gekis and Daniel Ribera of Gekis Ribera Management. ARGHP is with Ramo Law.