Box TV joins prod’n of Euro mini ‘El Cid’

Co. also teams on English-lingo sci-fi telepics

MADRID — Blighty producer Box TV has joined Spain’s Morena Films and France’s Studio Intl. on the $10 million miniseries “El Cid.”

Based on the epic poem that inspired the Charlton Heston/Sophia Loren ’60s blockbuster, the English-lingo co-production will shoot in Spain next year. Co-production partners have taken equal equity in the mini.

“The entry of Gub Neal’s Box TV opens the door to broadcaster backing from the U.K. and U.S. thanks to Box’s close relations with TV stations in both countries,” Morena TV chief Alvaro Longoria said.

Vet TV scribe Richard Carpenter penned the script; “Cid” will air as a mini in France and see theatrical release at feature length in Spain and the U.K., Longoria said.

“El Cid” is one of the flagship projects developed out of the pact inked last year between Morena and Pathe TV (now known as Studio Intl.).

Teaming on sci-fi telepics

Box and Morena are also teaming on three English-lingo sci-fi telepics, backed by U.K. Film Council development coin.

Pics will mesh English and Spanish talent. Morena will bring a Spanish financier to the table. Telepics will come in at around $1.6 million each. Some 70% of financing is covered from Spain and the U.K., said Box chief exec Justin Thompson-Glover.

Morena has also tapped two high-profile Spanish helmers for separate projects. Carlos Saura is attached to direct a feature-length musical “La Iberia,” which adapts themes of Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz to flamenco. Joaquin Cortes is among the dancers.

Manuel Martin Cuenca, whose debut feature “The Weakness of the Bolshevik” screened to upbeat reviews at San Sebastian, has been signed to helm war reporter doc “Hotel de Guerra.”

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