Imanol Arias Joins ‘Anacleto: Secret Agent’

Spy action-comedy set up at Spain’s Zeta Cinema

MADRID – One of Spanish TV’s biggest stars, Imanol Arias is attached to play Anacleto Sr. in bumbling spy  action-comedy “Anacleto: Secret Agent,” helmed by Javier Ruiz Caldera’s whose teen comedy “Ghost Promotion” was a Fox pick-up for North and Latin America.

Debuting with “Spanish Movie,” Ruiz Caldera’s “Three Many Weddings” closed the Venice Festival’s Venice Days.

Shooting June, “Anacleto” is set up at Spain Zeta Cinema, which co-produced “Zip & Zap,” the highest-grossing majority Spanish title of 2013, punching €6.9 million in Spain. It screens in the Sundance Festivals first Sundance Kids strand.

Arias broke through in the early ‘80s starring opposite Daisy Granados in Humberto Solas’ “Cecilia” and taking one of the two lead male roles along with Antonio Banderas in Pedro Almodovar’s second feature, “Labyrinth of Passions.”

Since 2001, however, Arias has starred as the heart-of-gold if somewhat died-in-the-wool father of one of Spanish TV’s biggest long-running hits, pubcaster TVE-1 channel’s “Remember When,” a “The Wonder Years” family drama evocation of Spain’s history from the ‘60s through to, currently, 1982.

Arias’ “Anacleto” attachment marks a rare major movie role outing for the actor. Spanish paybox Canal Plus and Catalan pubcaster TV3 have pre-bought the movie an espionage action-comedy adapting a Zeta-owned classic Spanish comic book series.

Ariaswill play Anacleto, Quim Gutierrez (“Cousinhood”) will Anacleto Jr./Adolfo and Berto Romero (“Three Many Weddings”) is also attached. “Anacleto” has pre-sold in Spain to Canal Plus, TVE and TV3, said Zeta Cinema producer Francisco Ramos.

Based on the comic book characters of Manuel Vazquez, one of Spain’s greatest comedic comic book artists and writers, “Anacleto: Secret Agent” boasts, as many Zeta Cinema movies, a young but up-and-coming screenwriting team, here, Fernando Navarro (“Hispania”) and Pablo Alen and Breixo Corral, co-scribes of “Three Many Weddings,” the biggest Spanish release from 2013 which looks set to top out this year at about $8.2 million.

A major distributor will soon be attached, said Ramos.

In a separate development, Pedro Almodovar muse Victoria Abril has joined the cast of “Mostoles no es lo que parece, o la importancia de llamarse Encarna,” a dramatic comedy toplining Carmen Ruiz and Carmen Castano, written and to be directed by Vicente Villanueva (“The Opposite of Love”), Ramos said.

Zeta Cinema’s third movie to shoot this year will be Maria Ripoll’s romantic comedy “Here and Now,” penned by “Zip & Zap” co-scribes Jorge Lara and Francisco Roncal.

Warner Bros. Pictures has set Nov. 28 release dates for one of Spain’s biggest box office plays of 2014: 3D toon pic “Mortadelo y Filemon contra Jimmy el Cachondo,” produced by Zeta Cinema and Madrid studio Ilion Animation.

“’Mortadelo is about half way through its animation process. We’ll be able to show about 70% of the movie in March to April,” said Ramos. Compared to ‘Zip & Zap,’ which targeted younger kids, ‘Mortadelo’ is a four-quadrant movie. It has traction potential, given the production levels, the weight of the characters and the popularity of the original comic books,” Ramos added.

Lead-produced by Mod Producciones and also co-produced by Atresmedia and Kowalski Films, “Zip & Zap” world premiered at Toronto and went on to bow in Spain at a San Sebastian Velodromo big-screen event.

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