An Interview with Spanish Director Oriol Paulo on Cracking the China Market (The Hollywood Reporter)

Barcelona-born director Oriol Paulo has done what few European filmmakers have managed to achieve: he’s cracked the Chinese market.

Paulo's 2017 crime thriller Invisible Guest, which grossed a respectable, if hardly outstanding, $3.9 million in Spain, earned $26 million in China. In April of this year, his follow-up, the time-travel mystery Mirage, was a flop in Spain, making less than $900,000 on its initial release via Warner Bros. — but it grossed nearly $17 million in China, prompting the studio to take the unconventional step of re-releasing it in Paulo's home territory.

Oriol Paulo photographed by Quim Vives

Netflix snapped up world rights outside China and Spain on Mirage before Paulo began filming.

In addition to their own success, Paulo's twisty, complex thriller scripts have spawned multiple remakes in Asia, the U.S. and elsewhere. He sold remake rights to his directorial feature debut, 2012’s The Body, to the U.S., South Korea, South Africa and India. Five countries, including China and the U.S., picked up remake rights to The Invisible Guest; and Mirage is set to be remade in four Asian territories, including China.

Mercedes Gamero, managing director of Atresmedia Cine and producer on all of Paulo’s films to date, suggests Paulo's particular style of plot-driven thrillers with a focus on storytelling over special effects, works nicely in China as "counter programming" to the blockbuster fare on offer from the major studios.

“His films combine ambitious script structures, suspense and characters in extreme situations,” adds Sandra Hermida, executive producer and production manager on Mirage and producer and production manager on Invisible Guest. “It's the balance between genre and emotion that makes his films unique."

Paulo, currently working on the eight-episode suspense series El Inocente for Netflix, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his inspiration, what he thinks of the remakes of his films and what it's like to be big in China. 

Read the full Q&A in The Hollywood Reporter.


A note about privacy: This web is hosted on the platform. provides us with the online platform that allows us to share our content you. We do not share personal information with third-parties nor do we store information we collect about your visit to this blog for use other than to analyze content performance through the use of cookies, which you can turn off at any time by modifying your Internet browser's settings. We are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other web sites or media without our permission. All art and posters from films used on this site are sourced from distributors where possible, and always represent official art released for press coverage of films. Please contact me directly with questions. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice.