Albert Espinosa to direct ‘5th Floor’

Film is sequel to Antonio Mercero's hit

BARCELONA — Playwright-turned-director Albert Espinosa will helm “5th Floor,” a sequel to Antonio Mercero’s B.O. hit “4th Floor,” which the pair co-wrote. Pic rolls February.

Planoaplano, the new shingle of vet producer Cesar Benitez, will produce the around Euros4 million ($5.6 million) pic, which takes up the lives of the “4th Floor” characters 10 years later.

Thesp Juan Jose Ballesta will reprise his role as one of a group of teens in a cancer ward, in a tale inspired by Espinosa’s own experiences in battling cancer

“4th Floor” won director and People’s Choice Award at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2003.

The heart-tugger pulled in an upbeat $7.3 million at the Spanish B.O. in 2003, making it the fifth highest-grossing pic of the year.

Espinosa’s film feature deb as a director, the Rodar y Rodar-produced “Don’t Ask Me to Kiss You Because I Will,” bows in Spain Oct. 3

A comedy about a young man who’s hesitating about breaking off his engagement, pic is based on Espinosa’s hit play.

Espinosa has just founded a production company, Pelones. It has produced a half-hour short, Carlos Alfayate’s “Destination Ireland,” which is a prequel to feature “Imagine,” currently in development.

“Imagine” will be shot in English on a $9.8 million budget. It turns on three brothers going to Ireland after their parents’ death. Espinosa will take a role in the film, he told Variety.

Espinosa recently published his autobiography, “El Mundo amarillo,” which has sold 50,000 copies, a strong figure for Spain.

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