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Telecinco looks to the past with ‘Alatriste’

Yanes penned script, to helm 16th-century pic

TUNIS, Tunisia — Spanish broadcaster Telecinco is putting its weight behind a $20 million movie “Alatriste,” based on the bestselling historical novels of Spanish writer Arturo Perez-Reverte.

Pic, about the adventures of a roguish mercenary of the 16th-century wars in Flanders, was written and will be directed by Agustin Diaz Yanes (“Nobody Will Talk About Us When We’re Dead”).

“Alatriste” is a long-standing project at Telecinco, planned as an English-lingo co-production with Hollywood financing.

It now will be made in Spanish to fulfill tightened linguistic regs controlling broadcasters’ investment in Spanish production.

Telecinco is casting and is believed to have commitments from major Spanish-speaking stars.

Having completed casting, it will seek co-producers in Europe, said Alvaro Augustin, director of the Spanish and European film division at Telecinco.

“Alatriste” is part of Telecinco’s shift to making a smaller number of bigger-budgeted local co-productions. Augustin said the terrestrial commercial web aims to co-produce no more than eight pics a year.

Other projects unveiled by Augustin at a Telecinco press conference on the set of “Imperium,” lensing here, include Daniel Monzon’s “Gloomy Sunday,” for which Telecinco is seeking an international English-speaking cast, and sequels to Spanish B.O. hits “The Other Side of the Bed” and “Moscow Gold.”

Telecinco boasts one of the most successful recent track records of any production outfit in Spain. It co-produced last year’s top Spanish grosser “The Other Side of the Bed” and current B.O. hit “Football Days.”

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