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‘Pan’s’ in Del Toro’s plans

Helmer sets followup to 'Hellboy'

Fresh off “Hellboy,” Guillermo del Toro’s next film will be “The Pan’s Labyrinth,” a thriller set in 1942 Spain to be produced by Jorge Vergara and Alfonso Cuaron’s Anhelo Prods.

Anhelo will provide 100% financing for the Spanish-lingo pic, Vergara said.

“As with other films, we’re giving the director a lot of freedom and making a film that we hope will reach the whole world,” he said.

Anhelo will follow the strategy of Cuaron’s “Y tu mama tambien” of investing in and making the movie and then considering sales.

Given that Focus Features has an informal first-look option on Anhelo pics, speculation is inevitable that Focus will handle “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

Casting will begin in July. Pic starts pre-production in September and shoots likely in Argentina. Anhelo has been checking out locations in Bariloche.

Del Toro is writing the screenplay.

“Guillermo’s return to Spanish filmmaking isn’t really a question of making a big film or a small one, so much as freedom. He certainly wanted to do ‘Hellboy,’ ” Vergara said. ” ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ will give him more freedom, however.”

“Pan’s Labyrinth” is the latest addition to Anhelo’s slate, which includes “Tokyo Boogie,” co-directed by Juan Casacuberta, and Carlos Cuaron’s directorial debut “Tato,” about two soccer players, to shoot in 2005.

Vergara co-produced Alfonso Cuaron’s “Y tu mama tambien” as well as Del Toro’s last Spanish-lingo pic, “The Devil’s Backbone.”

Anhelo has two pics in Certain Regard at Cannes: “Cronicas” and “The Assassination of Richard Nixon.”

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