Showtime, MGM to produce

Salma Hayek will exec produce and star in an original movie jointly produced by MGM and Showtime, “In the Time of the Butterflies.”

Showtime will get the world premiere of the pic, which sources say will be budgeted at an unusually hefty $10 million. Both Showtime and MGM declined to comment on the deal.

Script is based on Julia Alvarez’s novel of the same name. Book, which was nominated for a National Book Circle award, used historical figures to tell the harrowing story of three politically active sisters in Santo Domingo who go underground during the 1950s to resist the bloody dictatorship of Leonidas Trujillo. It’s essentially the story of the real-life Mirabal sisters, who were known throughout the country as the butterflies.

Socially conscious pics

Director of “Butterflies” is Mariano Barroso, a helmer based in Spain. He’ll shoot “Butterflies,” his first English-language movie, in Vera Cruz, Mexico, starting in mid-September.

Pic is a continuation of Showtime’s strategy of commissioning movies with socially conscious themes, often based on fact. These include “The Atlanta Child Murders,” “Execution of Justice” (about the murder of San Francisco Mayor George Mosconi and Harvey Milk by Dan White), “Harlan County War” (about coal-miner strikes in Kentucky) and “Dirty Pictures” (about the trial of a Cincinnati art-museum topper who exhibited homoerotic photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe).

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