Just in time for back to school season, a brand new clique of mean teens is heading to Netflix. According to the official synopsis, Elite follows the story of three regular, working-class high schoolers that wind up enrolled at a fancy prep school, but soon find themselves embroiled in an ongoing murder investigation. So who are these sneaky young whippersnappers, anyway? And more importantly — where have you seen the cast of Elite before?
While Elite might be inviting a lot of comparisons to other teen dramas like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, it actually features many of the exact same cast members as another popular Spanish thriller, Money Heist (originally titled La casa de papel). The series is about a group of thieves hired to carry out a two billion euro heist on the Royal Mint of Spain over the course of eleven days — but there are inevitably some extremely entertaining variations to the plan. According a March 2018 article from Forbes, Money Heist is the most popular non-English TV show on Netflix, so let that serve as a little preview of what's in store for Elite. These kids must be pretty damn good.
Samuel, played by Itzan Escamilla
Essentially, Samuel seems to be the new Dan Humphrey — which would make Itzan Escamilla the new Penn Badgely. He may not be a Money Heist alum, but Escamilla did appear in a different Spanish Netflix series, Cable Girls (Las chicas de cable), portraying the younger version of Francisco. After Elite, Escamilla's IMDB page already says he's in post production for a film called Planeta 5000, which doesn't yet have a release date.
Marina, played by María Pedraza
Based on the trailers and promo materials, Marina appears to be the fun, free-spirited, most beautiful girl at Las Encinas... Remind you of anyone? But you might already know Pedraza as Alison Parker from Money Heist. Still, Pedraza appears to be a relative acting newbie, with her IMDB only listing credits from as far back as 2017. However, she looks like one to watch as she's already got a film, A quién te llevarías a una isla desierta, and another series,Toy Boy, in the works for after Elite.
Nadia, played by Mina El Hammani
Like Samuel, Nadia is one of the three students that transfer to Las Encinas at the start of Elite. And like most of her other cast mates, El Hammani is a relatively experienced young Spanish TV actor, with previous roles in Servir y proteger and El Principe. She doesn't currently have anything lined up for after Elite Season 1, according to her IMDB, but with all the press attention she's about to get, I'd bet her career is just getting started.
Christian, played by Miguel Herrán
Miguel Herrán plays Christian, who is (based on the trailer) the third transfer student at Las Encinas. Also in the trailer, he snatches a basketball from another student and dunks it, so it looks like he might be the new kid that's assimilating the best to his hostile surroundings. Another former Money Heist actor, Herrán has an upcoming movie, Alegría, tristeza, due for a November release in Spain.
Nano, played by Jaime Lorente
Lorente also appeared in Money Heist with Pedraza and Herrán, and now he's stepping into the role of Samuel's older brother, Nano. There's not a whole lot of information available about Nano just yet, but Lorente also seems like one to keep an eye on. He'll be appearing alongside Pedraza for the third time in the upcoming film A quién te llevarías a una isla desierta, due for release in 2019.
Lucrecia, played by Danna Paola
Though she's just 23, Danna Paola has already been in show business for nearly two decades. Paola broke onto the scene as a child star in Mexico with the mini-series Ray of Light in 2000. Since then, she's also developed a career as a pop singer — you can listen to her self-titled album Danna Paola and multiple singles on Spotify.
Whether they're seasoned vets like Paola or relative newbs like Pedraza, it looks like all the kids enrolled at Las Encinas are about to get a crash course in becoming serious international Netflix phenomena.