'La piel' appeals to director for next film

Pedro Almodovar is eyeing the vengeance drama “La piel que habito” as his next film, with Penelope Cruz considered for a starring role.

The project had originally been talked up as teaming Cruz with Antonio Banderas, but the male lead still has to be cast.

Almodovar talked enthusiastically Saturday about “Piel” at the European Film Awards in Warsaw. But a final version of the screenplay has yet to be finished. Until that happens and Almodovar feels ready to begin production, there’s no certainty when “Piel” will roll.

The movie is a long-mooted Almodovar project, an adaptation of the 1995 novel “Mygale” by Thierry Jonquet, about the hideous revenge a plastic surgeon exacts on men who have raped his daughter. Pic version will retain just one scene from the novel.

“Piel” would be a departure for the helmer, bearing little similarity to Cruz starrer “Volver” and Almodovar’s life, the director told the Spanish press.

The film is “immensely tough and complicated, targeted at select audiences, the kind of film that’s discomfiting and doesn’t tend to win many awards,” Almodovar said.

A decision about whether to move into productioncould come in February or March, said Almodovar’s producer and brother Agustin.

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