Duo will cross border with English-lingo pix
Warner Bros. Pictures and Mexican media conglom Televisa have joined forces to develop two untitled English-language features, one of which will be produced by Robert Lawrence Prods., the other by Jorge Saralegui’s Material.
Lawrence’s project, a pitch that will be penned by the WB’s “La Femme Nikita” series creator Cyrus Nowrasteh, is a noir action thriller in which a cop goes south of the border to seek revenge for the murder of his older brother.
Saralegui’s project, pitched and written by Bill Reid, is the story of a young Latino — waiter in a Tijuana restaurant by day, band manager by night — who falls in love with a young woman who crosses the border one weekend.
Televisa’s Carlos Sotomayor, one of the web’s top telenovela producers, is developing both projects with the studio.
Both films will be co-financed by Warners and Televisa in an informal arrangement that was brokered in part by actor-filmmaker Edward James Olmos, who will serve in a producing capacity on the projects.
Warners and Televisa’s relationship initially stemmed from Warners’ Mexican output deal with Televisa’s distribution arm, Videocine. Warners and Televisa also co-financed Carlos Diegues’ 1999 Portuguese film “Orfeu” and has partnered with the Mexican company on other local-language productions.
Lawrence will develop his Warners-Televisa pic with Sean Robins, his company’s new head of development. Lawrence, whose credits also include “Rock Star,” is currently prepping the release of his latest production, DreamWorks’ “The Last Castle,” before moving his offices to Santa Monica.
Nowrasteh, who most recently wrote and directed “The Day Reagan Was Shot” for Showtime, was repped by Endeavor.