Trio finances Almodovar pic

Casting in planning stages; Budget set at $5 mil

Goldwyn Films, Claude Berri’s Renn Prods. and Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s El Deseo will team on the next Pedro Almodovar project, “All About My Mother.”

A femme pic that looks set to graft comedy and drama in Almodovar’s inimitable vein, the Spanish-language “Mother” will shoot in Madrid and Barcelona starting in September.

Key cast is now being planned. Budgeted at around $5 million, “Mother” features five women, according to its producer, Agustin Almodovar.

In a deal that echoes the financing deal struck in 1989 between the now defunct Ciby 2000 and El Deseo, Renn will put up 20% minority financing in “Mother” and El Deseo the remaining 80%. Goldwyn Films will handle all international territories outside France and Spain.

The one-pic deal may well prove a test case for a more long-term teaming on Almodovar pics.

Almodovar’s pic after “Mother” could mark his long-mooted entry into English-lingo filmmaking. Agustin Almodovar confirmed at Cannes that preparation is “advancing” for Pedro Almodovar to direct an adaptation of Pete Dexter’s novel “The Paperboy,” which El Deseo would co-produce with Jan De Bont’s 20th Century Fox-based Blue Tulip Prods. Almodovar and Dexter have been exchanging ideas for the screenplay.

El Deseo may also provide production services on the Ed Pressman-moved “Manolete,” a biopic of Spain’s most famous bullfighter, which would be di-rected by screenwriter Menno Mejyes (“The Color Purple”). It seems unlikely, however, that El Deseo would put up equity financing for the film.

Goldwyn Films’ linkup to El Deseo reunites the latter with former Ciby Sales chief Wendy Palmer, now CEO at Goldwyn Films. Goldwyn Films execs were not available for comment.

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