Monzon will direct drug-trade thriller

Exclusive– Daniel Monzon, the director of Spanish smash hit “Cell 211,” is set to direct “El Nino” (The Kid), a gritty drug-trade action thriller.

Telecinco Cinema produces. Screenplay is by Monzon and regular co-scribe Jorge Guerricaechevarria.

Pic turns on an 18-year-old drug trafficker who smuggles hashish into Spain from Morocco via the Gibraltar Straits, making the sea crossing in a rubber boat. He webcams the crossings, incurring the wrath of the customs police and, as dangerously, drug cartels.

“This is a kind of Spanish ‘Traffic’ meets ‘Gomorrah': fast-moving, gripping, documented, a movie that rings true,” said Ghislain Barrois, CEO of Telecinco Cinema, the film production arm of broadcaster Telecinco.

Telecinco Cinema has been fine-tuning the screenplay from Guerricaechevarria and Monzon. Budgeted at €7 million ($10 million), “Nino” is structured as a European co-production.

Telecinco Cinema aims to produce commercial action movies at much more competitive costs than Hollywood, Barrois said.

It is also prepping English-language heist movie “60 Feet Under” with Paco Plaza (“Rec,” “Rec 2″) attached to direct.

Co-produced by Eneko Lizarraga’s Think Studio (“Spanish Movie”), it turns on a robbery at Madrid’s Banco de Espana.

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