Film unit sets production dates for hot projects

Joaquin Padro and Mar Targarona, producer-partners at Barcelona’s Rodar y Rodar, have set production dates for two of Spain’s hottest projects — Guillem Morales’ “Julia’s Eyes” and “The Homecoming,” the feature debut of Sergio Sanchez, screenwriter of Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Orphanage.”

A blindness chiller, the English-language “Eyes” is Morales’ follow-up to his 2005 Spanish-language debut, psychological thriller “El habitante incierto” (The Uncertain Guest). Rodar and London-based Becker Intl. have inked for an English-language remake of “Guest,” with Morales once more to helm.

Before that, however, Morales will shoot “Eyes” in the first half of next year, said Padro.

Story concerns a young woman investigating her blind sister’s suicide.

Morales is finalizing the screenplay. The film will shoot with English actors and an English-Spanish crew, said Morales.

To roll in fall 2008, “Homecoming” turns on a brother and sister, aged 10 and 8, who go on vacation with their parents to an island and return home to a world without people.

“Like my shorts and ‘The Orphanage,’ I guess the film’s about an impossible return to childhood,” said Sanchez.

“Homecoming” will also be English-language. Sanchez, who has written the screenplay for one of Guillermo del Toro’s future projects, Spanish-language ghost film “3993,” is also putting the final touches to the script of “Homecoming.”

Films will cost around $10 million-$12 million, said Padro. Those budgets will allow the directors longer shoots and more facilities than most Spanish films.

“Our aim is to shoot exteriors on location abroad but some interiors in Barcelona, taking advantage of lower production costs. We’d like to make international pictures, but not completely outside Barcelona,” Padro added.

Godfathered by del Toro and a Picturehouse pickup for the U.S., “The Orphanage” is the subject of advanced negotiations for an English-language remake by New Line.

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