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Hayek joining quest for snail in toon

Thesp joins Molina, Rodriguez in lending voice to 'Sian'

MEXICO CITY — Salma Hayek has joined the cast of Hispanic toon “Sian Ka’an,” set to start production this month.

Alfred Molina and Michelle Rodriguez will also lend their voices.

The three join previously announced Cheech Marin and Placido Domingo in a bilingual cast that will be able to record the Spanish- and English-language versions of the pic, a toon first.

Puerto Rico-based Muvi Films is producing the pic, which will be set on the Eastern coast of Mexico in a nature preserve by the same name, an ancient Mayan word meaning “Origin of the Sky.”

Hayek will voice Maria, a young girl who sets out to save a special golden snail upon whose survival hangs the fate of all living species on Earth. Rodriguez will be the voice of the secretary of the prime minister of extinct species, while Molina will be the villain.

“Sian” will be helmed by Spaniard Raul Garcia, who worked as a sequence director on “The Wild Thornberrys Movie” and “Rugrats in Paris.”

Paramount is said to be negotiating distribution in Latin America, while Universal is bidding on U.S. and non-Latin rights. Film is scheduled to bow in late 2004 or early 2005.

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