Rea takes a taste of ‘Afrodita’

Thesp joins cast of Almodovar-helmed adaptation

CANNES — Stephen Rea is in negotiations to topline Fernando Solanas’ $5.2 million “Afrodita, the Taste of Love.” Pic is based on the bestselling cookbook “Stories, Recipes and Other Aphrodisiacs” by Isabel Allende.

Turning on food and eroticism, “Afrodita” is one of the biggest-budget literary adaptations to emerge from the Spanish-speaking world. The screenplay was written by Solanas.

“Afrodita” is a co-production between Luis Angel Bellaba’s Astrolabio Producciones, France’s Leo et Compagnie, Thelma Films in Switzerland, Argentina’s Cinesur and Film Tre in Italy. Bellaba will take a producer credit on the film.

Rea will play a character who is not in the original book — an American who lives in Switzerland.

Pedro Almodovar pic regulars Cecilia Roth and Marisa Paredes will co-star in the pic, which will mix Spanish- and English-lingo scenes.

“Afrodita” is skedded to roll in August in Switzerland, the Rhone Valley in France and Spain.

Since Rea has an Irish passport and the film does not involve U.S. pre-financing, Bellaba foresees no problems from a possible Hollywood actors strike.

A sales agent for “Afrodita” is expected to be announced during the Cannes Film Festival.

“Afrodita” will be the third pic adaptation of an Allende book, following Bille August’s “The House of Spirits,” produced by Bernd Eichinger’s Constantin Films, and “Of Love and Shadows,” directed by Bette Kaplan.

In addition, Lakeshore Entertainment has attempted to move another Allende project, “Eva Luna.”

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