Language lessons for WB

Studio tailors 3-year deal with Cuaron

A correction was made to this article on Nov. 22, 2004.

In an innovative two-tier deal, Warner Bros. has inked a three-year first-look production deal with director Alfonso Cuaron that will enable him to develop both mainstream pics and smaller, Spanish-language pics in his native Mexico.

Smaller pics will be developed through Cuaron’s offices in Mexico and will be produced by WB’s local-language production division. Pics will be distributed in various international territories through Warner Bros. Pictures Intl., headed by Richard Fox, exec VP of international for the studio.

Cuaron will have two production offices — one in New York, run by Frida Torresblanco, and one in Mexico, where Cuaron’s brother Carlos Cuaron will serve as a consultant. Juan Tovar will head the Mexico office.

Cuaron’s production shingle Anhelo will continue to exist separately from the WB deal.

WB deal, inked by WMA and Cuaron’s attorney Henry Holmes, is an unusual one for the studio. It’s indicative of the increasing strength of both WB’s international distribution team and its aggressive foreign-language operations.

‘We had a wonderful experience with Alfonso on ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ and have been longtime admirers of his work,” said Jeff Robinov, production prexy for Warner Bros. Pictures. “His deal will give us the opportunity to collaborate with Alfonso on movies that make the most of his artistry and vision, and continue to offer him the mainstream worldwide audiences that our studio provides so successfully.”

Said Cuaron: “We live in exciting times in world cinema. I’m very honored to join forces with Warner Bros. Pictures in this filmmaker-oriented company.”

Cuaron received an Oscar nomination with his brother for their screenplay for “Y tu mama tambien.”

Director first teamed with WB on the English-lingo pic “A Little Princess.” He most recently produced “The Assassination of Richard Nixon,” starring Sean Penn, for ThinkFilm.

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