Sony to release potential hometurf blockbuster in Spain
MADRID – Alec Baldwin will team with Spanish industry heavyweights Santiago Segura, Sony Pictures Releasing in Spain, Telefonica Studios, the film-TV production house of telco Telefonica, cable operator ONO, and Atresmedia Cine, the film arm of broadcast network to make Segura’s “Torrente 5,” the latest installment of the most successful movie franchise in Spanish history.
Segura’s own production label Amiguetes Entertainment will produce. “Torrente 5” is budgeted at €8.5 million ($11,5 million) in a year when Spanish production, bereft of any certainty about how governmental subsidies may be paid in the future, look set to divide between a clutch of potential commercial tentpoles and a host of tadpoles.
Long rumored for a part, Baldwin will play a villain in a comedy caper that sees sleazebag ex-cop Torrente, plyed by Segura, emerge from a penitentiary to plan a casino heist.
With Torrente directing operations, however, things can only go wrong.
In a parody of “Ocean’s Eleven,” he will hire quite possibly the best specialists in the world for the job. Or so he claims. Bull-fighter Jesulin de Ubrique and Atletico de Madrid soccer club manager Diego Simeone will play cameos. Since it’s first part bowed in 1998, Segura’s “Torrente” saga has grossed €70.6 million ($95.2 million) in Spain and, handled by FilmSharks International, broken out theatrical openings abroad.
While Segura’s genius for gross-out comedy – which can deliver a penetrating satire of the incorrigible incompetence and prejudices of peolple who often still direct operations in the Spain – is increasingly recognized in Spain, it has often been more readily warmed to abroad. Oliver Stone and Guillermo del Toro have made appearances in his films; “The Artist” producer Thomas Langmann long harbored the idea of a French remake.
Sony has yet to set release dates for Spain. With principal photography commencing Nov. 25, the theatrical bow is likely to be this year. Most pundits already bet on “Torrente 5” becoming Spain’s biggest local hit of the year.