Character actor joins Mario Casas and Victoria Abril in family melodrama

Sergi Lopez, one of Spain’s top character actors, has joined Mario Casas and Victoria Abril for “Ismael,” a family melodrama from Marcelo Pinyero (“The Method”).

Spain’s Zeta Cinema will co-produce with Antena 3 Films, the production-acquisition arm of broadcaster Antena 3. Reteaming with Zeta Cinema and Antena 3 Films after “Three Meters Above the Sky” and “I Want You,” both of which starred Casas, Madrid’s Imagina Intl. Sales is repping sales rights worldwide outside Spain.

Lopez appeared in “Pan’s Labryinth” and has carved out of much of his career in France, where he broke through in Manuel Poirier’s Cannes jury prize-winning “Western” and won a Cesar for “With a Friend Like Harry.”

Turning on a 10-year-old child who sets out to find his father (Casas), “Ismael” marks the third film Zeta Cinema’s Francisco Ramos produces for Argentina-born Pineyro after “The Method” and “Kamchatka,” broad audience-targeting Spanish-language titles that have sold well abroad.

A feel-good film in the vein of “The Descendents” and “Intouchables,” per Ramos, “Ismael” will bank on recognition for Casas both in Spain and select territories.

Teen romancer “Three Meters” was Spanish cinema’s biggest bow of 2010, grossing E10 million ($12.8 million); Warner-distribbed “I Want You” tallied $15.2 million in Spain, and a remarkable $5.8 million in Russia.

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