‘Acapulco’ Bosses Talk ‘Leaving a Lot of Doors Open’ for Show’s Potential Season 4

Note: This story contains spoilers from the “Acapulco” Season 3 finale.

“Acapulco” ended an eventful Season 3 with massive shifts for the employees of Las Colinas resort across the show’s both timelines, and producers are hopeful the beloved Apple TV+ comedy series’ intricate narrative will continue to unfold in a potential Season 4.

Episode 10, titled “Burning Down the House,” followed the aftermath of younger Maximo’s (Enrique Arrizon) decision mistakenly reveal the resort’s book of guest secrets to Alejandro Vera (Jaime Camil), setting the stage for him to fire Diane (Jessica Collins) and Don Pablo (Damián Alcázar) in 1985. Though Maximo, Memo (Fernando Carsa) and Julia (Camila Perez) were unsuccessful in stopping the coup, Alejandro promoted Maximo to head of operations, setting the stage for his ambitious turn that leads to the modern-day billionaire we know from the present-day.

In the 2020s, Maximo (Eugenio Derbez) got through Don Pablo’s memorial and reunited with Julia (Carolina Gómez) for dinner. The reunion, combined with lingering guilt for the past and being repulsed by the state of modern-day Las Colinas, motivate him to buy the resort and enlist Julia to help him restore the hotel to its former glory. The episode ends with Maximo pledging to redeem himself in the eyes of his former colleagues, but before revealing whether Julia would help him with the new hotel endeavor.

Fernando Carsa, Enrique Arrizon and Camila Perez in “Acapulco.” (Apple TV+)

“The biggest challenge in getting to that moment was that we liked Maximo so much we didn’t want him to go full ‘Breaking Bad,’ ” series cocreator Austin Winsberg told TheWrap of the 1985 storyline. “We really have to understand where it comes from, and that whatever mistakes he’s making are done in a way that he’s not anticipating the outcomes necessarily.”

“We were also careful to have a thin needle to thread in case we don’t get to Season 4,” he added. “We wanted it to be close-ended enough that it feels like there’s some satisfaction to the story and some answers, while also leaving a lot of doors open for more stories to come.”

Winsberg, along with Season 3 showrunner Sam Laybourne, broke down the big twists from the finale and hopes for a Season 4.

This season gave modern-day Maximo and company a lot more material, with the modern day Las Colinas and the memorial. Why put a bigger spotlight on that storyline this season?

Winsberg: I think part of it was that we love Eugenio Derbez so much and know that there’s only so much that he can do, so wanting to give him more to play. We wanted to show more of his world and more of his experiences. We had always planned to get them to Las Colinas by Season 3, and certainly we can only dangle (Don Pablo’s) memorial for so long, otherwise it starts to feel like that van in “Inception” that’s falling off the cliff.

I think there were a few building blocks going into Season 3 that we knew we wanted… We knew that we had to explore different dynamics with his daughter, we had this whole plan with (bringing in the) older Julia, and then a lot of stuff with the hotel and what happened to it that would hopefully reverberate in Season 4.

Laybourne: Coming in as a storyteller at the end of Season 2 with that great gift of “Who is this daughter at Maximo’s door?” and the possibilities that unpacked, we realized we have this dichotomy between this very comically sharp billionaire, who’s slightly out of touch and is lovable, and then this younger character is just so lovable that the younger Maximo plays in this unbelievable way by Enrique Arrizon. So we needed to figure out a way to redeem the older Maiximo in the present day, and sort of learning all these lessons and talking about it with Hugo (Raphael Alejandro) will actually get him to a place where it’s like “I need to make some changes.” And now being in Acapulco, There’s this great catalyst where we realize, let’s make the hotel a shell of what it was, because that’s going to light some fire under him to do something. Once we had that figured out, we thought, “How cool would it be to have this sort of full circle moment where he gets redemption?” All those years of alienating people by becoming a billionaire, you can actually do something with that.

Austin: There was also a lot of talk in the first two seasons that people were going to be angry at him at the memorial. So we had to at least answer a little bit of where some of that anger came from.

Jaime Camil in “Acapulco.” (Apple TV+)

Jaime Camil was a great addition to the cast and action of the show. How did you turn one of TV’s most sympathetic actors into an antagonist?

Sam: The idea of Alejandro Vera gave us the opportunity to go slightly bigger with the role, meaning more dashing and shamelessly flirtatious. Once we got this idea for the character we wanted to find him a massive star. And because this show had engendered so much goodwill in the Latin actor population, we were able to swing bigger and get bigger names.

So we met with Jaime Camil and had an amazing meeting and the energy was great, and he loved the idea of playing a villain. But I will say, he gave us some great guidance as to how we could do that while still keeping him likable. Part of that is that he’s a Mexican man who’s fighting for keeping Mexican businesses under the purview of Mexican nationals. So there’s something kind of cool and political there, which makes us understand why he’s shamelessly going after Las Colinas.

Austin: The only other thing I’ll add to that is that we liked the idea of having another viable romantic interest for Diane. So having that little bit of that fun rom-com banter between the two of them and the possibility certainly that Hector (Rafael Cebrián) could lose out on Diane through this man, somebody that was an actual threat for whatever may or may not happen between the two of them.

It was great to see modern-day Maximo find his way back to Las Colinas just as Young Maximo started to let his ambitions take over. The finale ends with Maximo buying the modern Las Colinas, while Young Maximos is named head of operations after Don Julio and Diane are pushed out. Where do their journeys go in a potential Season 4?

Winsberg: The biggest challenge in getting to that moment was that we liked Maximo so much that we didn’t want him to go full “Breaking Bad.” Even in the very first pitches for the show, it was going to be a slow breaking journey for this character. But we also feel like we really have to understand where it comes from, and that whatever mistakes he’s making are done in a way that he’s not anticipating the outcomes necessarily. So threading that needle of like, how dark do we want to get with him was definitely part of the consideration.

And then in terms of going forward, we were also careful to have a thin needle to thread in case we don’t get to Season 4. We wanted it to be close-ended enough that it feels like there’s some satisfaction to the story and some answers, while also leaving a lot of doors open for more stories to come.”

So obviously the first story in terms of the present-timeline is Maximo and Julia. Are the two of them going to get back together? What happened in all those years that we didn’t see between the two of them? Can they repair whatever damages there are, and is she willing to participate in the rebuilding and rebirth of the hotel?

The other big storyline for him in Season 4 is how he can bring Las Colinas back to its glory days, and can Maximo truly step away from his business empire to focus his attention back on the resort. I think he has a lot of residual guilt about what happened to the resort and he blames himself. There’s probably more pieces that we could put together in the future of how the resort went from being so personalized to so corporate.

And then for younger Maximo. Now he’s the head of operations at the hotel, but he’s had to lose Diane and Don Pablo in the process. And those were his two allies, people who were by his side, and so he’s made a choice and there’s going to be real consequences with Vera becoming the full owner of the hotel. So we’d see Maximo stepping into this light as head of operations and having to make the tough choices. And then we also want to explore Diane’s life outside of the hotel. What’s it like for her to sort of just be a regular person who no longer has the resort? There’s fun to be had with that.

There’s plenty more for Maximo and Julia’s romantic storyline too, because now Julia in the past is questioning, “Maybe my boyfriend is not exactly who I thought he would be if he was willing to make these choices for his career.”

We have a lot of different storylines we want to continue.

Eugenio Derbez in “Acapulco.” (Apple TV+)

Season 3 ends on a cliffhanger, setting up Maximo and Julia joining forces to retake Las Colinas. How confident are you about a Season 4 renewal? What have you heard from Apple? When might you restart a writer’s room and work on a potential new season?

Laybourne: What we know is that this season is doing really well and that it’s beloved by both Apple and Lionsgate, our studio in terms of the creative, which we feel great about. They’ve supported us all year.

Everybody feels like the creative side reached a wonderful new level. It’s honestly a testimony to our the writers’ room, this really diverse, incredibly sharp group of people, largely Latinx writers who are bringing a level of authenticity to the show. The show’s becoming even more grounded and emotional. That’s the feedback we’re getting from fans as well. We’ve got a really big social media impact this year, all of our actors are doing really fun, social media stuff. And so what’s happening is there’s a different level of buzz for the show.

Just because you have to be confident, I’m confident that we’re going to get to make more of this. But we don’t know (for sure), those decisions are made based on a whole bunch of metrics we can’t control.

Winsberg: I’m really feeling for the first time now that more people are aware of the show than ever before. More people are approaching the actors or writing the actors. They’re getting recognized more. Sometimes it just takes shows a longer time to get that kind of notice.

Is there some sort of master plan on the arc of the show? Do you know how many seasons you would want to tell this full story?

Winsberg: Every year leading up to the 2020s, yeah. I keep saying the needle to thread, but it’s hard. We ended Season 2 with extreme confidence that we’d get Season 3, so we ended on a massive cliffhanger. But I think it’s always that we want to protect ourselves to make sure that it feels satisfying every season, but also know that I have confidence that Sam and I could keep telling the story for longer if Apple wants to… We have ideas of places to go and many possible endings, but I think we’re certainly open to the idea of more.

Laybourne: There’s a hope and a joy to this show. And you know there’s 1,000 shows on the air and it’s not a huge marketing budget for us in the US. But we’re number one for Apple in several countries and we hit the top five in the US, which is incredible. So I think as word of mouth picks up, we’ll get to keep telling this optimistic story.

Winsberg: I’ve always said there’s two types of “Acapulco” people: People who love the show, and people who’ve never heard of it. So I hope we can keep spreading the word about “Acapulco.”

All episodes of “Acapulco” are now streaming on Apple TV+.

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