Amenabar readies next English language film

Rachel Weisz and Max Minghella will star in ancient Egyptian epic “Agora,” the next film by Alejandro Amenabar and the first production from Fernando Bovaira’s new Madrid-based banner Mod Prods.

Amenabar and regular co-writing partner Mateo Gil penned the screenplay. Telecinco Cinema is producing with Amenabar’s Himenoptero shingle. Spain’s Sogecable will co-finance the pic, which will begin principal photography next Monday in Malta.

“Agora,” Amenabar’s second English-language film after Nicole Kidman starrer “The Others,” is set in Roman Egypt in the fourth century A.D. Weisz plays astrologer-philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, who fights to save the collected wisdom of the ancient world. Her slave Davus (Minghella) is torn between his love for his mistress and the possibility of gaining his freedom by joining the rising tide of Christianity.

Oscar Isaac, Ashraf Barhom, Michael Lonsdale, Rupert Evans and Homayoun Ershadi round out the cast.

Minghella appeared in Terry Zwigoff’s “Art School Confidential” and will soon be seen in Beeban Kidron’s “Hippie Hippie Shake.”

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