Almodovar embraces ‘Abrazos’

Pic to be shot in style of 50s film noir

Pedro Almodovar’s next film will be “Los abrazos rotos,” which the helmer describes as a “four-way tale of amour fou, shot in the style of ’50s American film noir at its most hard-boiled.”

Penelope Cruz, Blanca Portillo and Lluis Homar will star.

“Abrazos” will go into pre-production next year, with Almodovar aiming to shoot in the spring. The film will lense partly in Madrid.

El Deseo, the Madrid production house owned by Pedro and producer brother Agustin Almodovar, will produce the film. Budget is about $15 million.

“Abrazos” is set in the ’90s and present day. It will mix stylistic references to films such as Nicholas Ray’s “In a Lonely Place” and Vincente Minnelli’s “The Bad and the Beautiful” with signature Almodovar themes: “Fate, the mystery of creation, guilt, unscrupulous power, the eternal search of fathers for sons, and sons for fathers,” Pedro Almodovar told Daily Variety.

Echoing traditional financing practices on Almodovar movies, the brothers aim to pre-sell a small clutch of foreign territories to long-term distributors of Almodovar film, said Agustin Almodovar.

“Penelope (Cruz) will exchange the era’s aprons, cardigans and the hairdos for an updated look, but one that mixes the transparent turbulence of Gene Tierney and the mistreated, challenging beauty of Linda Darnell in Otto Preminger’s ‘Fallen Angel,’ ” Pedro Almodovar explained, talking about points of departure for the film.

He is completing the screenplay. “Like some of my other films — ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ — this film came easily, in one go,” Almodovar said.

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