‘Phoenix’ rises at Morena


Spaniards David and Alex Pastor, who wrote Ryan Reynolds-starrer “Selfless,” are prepping a directorial outing, “Phoenix”.

Budgeted at $15 million-$20 million, and set up at Spain’s Morena Films, “Phoenix” is an English-language action-thriller with sci-fi elements, said Pedro Uriol, who heads Morena with fellow producers Juan Gordon and Alvaro Longoria.

The Pastor brothers also wrote “Out of the Dark,” which is financed by Participant Media and produced by Colombia’s Dynamo and Apaches in Spain. “Phoenix” will be set in North America and have an American cast. Morena is currently exploring options to co-finance out of the U.S. and maybe Canada, Uriol said.

The Pastors’ latest film, “The Last Days,” (pictured) also produced by Morena and being sold by Wild Bunch, has pre-sold to Japan (Presidio Corp.), Double & Joy Pics (South Korea), Voxell Copyrights (CIS), FilmFreak Distributie (Benelux), Intl. Production Assn. (Thailand) and Calinos Filmcilik (Turkey).

“Phoenix” is one of several titles on the development slate at Morena, which is battling Spain’s economic crisis and rampant piracy by plunging more into international production. In practice, that means a stepped-up focus on English-language pics and genre fare, such as “The Master of Altamira” and “La Cueva”.

Family-skewed “Altamira,” is an English-language drama about the 1879 discovery of prehistoric paintings in Spain’s Altamira Cave. “La Cueva” turns on a group of youngsters lost in a cave.

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