Almodovar’s English muted

Unlikely to helm MGM's 'Paperboy'

MADRID — Pedro Almodovar’s long-discussed debut in English-lingo filmmaking will have to wait.

Almodovar is developing at least three screenplays, but all would see him lensing in his native Spanish language and in Spain, with filming to begin early next year.

With MGM now in talks for a U.S. director to helm “The Paperboy,” Almodovar’s first English-lingo movie now looks unlikely to be the adaptation of the Pete Dexter novel.

Almodovar’s Oscar-winning “All About My Mother” was co-produced by Claude Berri’s Renn Prods. in France, sold by the MGM-owned United Artists and distributed in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics.

Renn, MGM or Sony would be obvious candidates to partner with Almodovar’s production house, El Deseo, on his new project. Its financing will only be structured once Almodovar commits to a film, however.

‘Paper’ trail

Originally set up at Jan de Bont’s Blue Tulip Prods., “The Paperboy” was put into turnaround by 20th Century Fox and picked up by MGM. In tandem with Sebastian Gutierrez, the writer-director of “Judas Kiss,” Almodovar worked on a revised draft of “Paperboy,” playing off a script by Dexter.

Although he looks unlikely to direct “Paperboy,” Almodovar is interested in remaining related to the project, a spokesman at El Deseo said.

The helmer’s involvement in the project — which could see him taking some form of producer credit — is likely to be determined by his availability, especially the date of his own shoot, the spokesman added.

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