AFM: Jaume Balagueró Direct Filmax’s ‘Muse’

Title marks ‘Darkness’ Balagueró’s return to English-language filmmaking

MADRID – [REC] co-director Jaume Balagueró will direct “Muse,” a supernatural thriller that marks his return to English-language genre 12 years after his Miramax/Dimension breakout “Darkness,” co-starring a young Anna Paquin, grossed $22.2 million at the U.S. box office.

“Muse” is set up at Julio Fernandez’s Barcelona-based Filmax Ent., which has produced all of Balagueró’s movies since feature debut “The Nameless,” including “Sleep Tight” and the four-pic [REC] franchise. Filmax International will present it to buyers at the American Film Market. Julio Fernandez is producing.

Also written by Balaguero (pictured) and on-the-rise Spanish scribe Fernando Navarro (“Anacleto, Secret Agent,” “Hispania, La Leyenda”) and with a screenplay at a long treatment stage, “Muse” turns on Salomon, who has been off work since the tragic death off his girlfriend. Now, anxious to return to some semblance of normality, he goes back to his job as a police officer. But he hasn’t slept for months and has been suffering a recurring nightmare in which a woman is brutally murdered.

Back at work, the nightmare becomes a reality: the same woman who appears every night in his dreams is found dead in exactly the same circumstances. Now, Salomon will do whatever he can to solve this case and to discover the identity of the mystery woman.

“This is just the kind of story that has always fascinated me, as a movie-goer and as a director. The combination of the supernatural, seduction, macabre rituals and love is an explosive one and has all the elements required to make a truly terrifying movie,” Balagueró said.

“A film directed by Jaume Balagueró is always a safe bet and all of Filmax’s previous collaborations with him have produced great results,” commented Ivan Díaz, head of Filmax’s international division.

He added: “I have no doubt that it will be the same with ‘Muse.’ Jaume is without doubt one of Spain’s top helmers and everyone here at Filmax is extremely excited to be producing this new project.”

Hitting a nerve with young femme teens, “Darkness” grossed $34.4 million worldwide.

“Muse’s” announcement comes as the Balaguero-directed “[REC] 4: Apocalypse,” the final part of the demonic contagion saga, will initiate its worldwide roll-out being released by Filmax this Friday on 300 screens in Spain. To date, the first three parts have grossed $50 million-plus worldwide, per Díaz.

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