Mikado takes ‘Tirante’

$18 mil English lingo romp lines up Euro stars

MADRID — Italian production-distribution house Mikado Films has joined one of the biggest Spanish productions of the year, Vicente Aranda’s highly sexed historical romp “Tirante el Blanco.”

Based on an episode in a 15th century Spanish novel of the same title, the English-lingo “Tirante” is budgeted at E13.5 million ($17.9 million). It toplines Leonor Watling, longtime Aranda muse Victoria Abril and Caspar Zafer.

Zafer plays Tirante, a knight charged with lifting the Turkish siege of Constantinople and hell-bent on relieving Carmesina, the teen heir to the Byzantine Empire, of her virginity.

Aranda told a Madrid press conference that he has spent nearly 40 years trying to make a large-screen adaptation of “Tirante.” Pic is produced by Enrique Viciano’s Carolina Films and Talent Films, Spanish-Italian media group DeAPlaneta, whose Italian partner DeAgostini owns Mikado, and the U.K.’s Future Film Group in a 80%-20% split between Spain and the U.K.

“Tirante” is co-financed using a Section 48 sale and leaseback tax incentive. Shooting begins Friday for delivery in October.

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