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Amenabar to helm ‘Out To Sea’

Bardem takes lead in Sampedro story

MADRID — Javier Bardem will topline the next film by Alejandro Amenabar (“The Others”), the Spanish-lingo “Mar adentro” (Out to Sea), based on the real-life story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 25 year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die.

In what is already being talked up in Spain as a potential career highlight, Bardem will play Sampedro.

Shooting from September in Galicia, Madrid and Barcelona, pic will be produced by Sogecine and Himenoptero, Amenabar’s own banner, with Sogecine head Fernando Bovaira taking a producer credit. Sogepaq will handle international rights.

Sogecine produced Amenabar’s “Abre los ojos” (Open Your Eyes), which yielded U.S. remake “Vanilla Sky,” and “The Others.”

The smaller canvas of “Out to Sea” will be seen as an inevitable reaction to Amenabar’s huge responsibility in directing “The Others.”

Signaling something of a change of direction, the new film will be a drama, with some elements of suspense.

“Although the change in register might appear somewhat surprising, I feel this film is not so much a parenthesis as the logical continuation of everything that interests me about film-making and life,” Amenabar declared.

“I didn’t have the good fortune to meet Ramon personally, but I have no doubt that Javier’s immense talent will succeed in bringing this unquestionably fascinating character to life again,” he added.

Per Bardem, “This is the story of those who succeed in overcoming their craving to possess everything they love; of those who are deeply free-spirited; of a man whose only God is his conscience.”

Producer Bovaira commented that the film will “confirm Alejandro’s maturity and versatility as a filmmaker.”

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