Spain’s burgeoning line of historical event pics (“Alatriste,” “Tirante El Blanco,” Teresa”) has a new addition: “Cervantes.”
An adventure/romantic comedy, pic imagines a life-long love affair between Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote,” and a feisty country lass named Anica. Terry Kahn (“Steal Big, Steal Little,” “Runelords”) wrote the script from Stephen Marlowe’s novelized bio, “Death and Life of Miguel de Cervantes.”
Family-skewed “Cervantes” starts with the whippersnapper writer thinking of marrying Anica. Unfortunately, he is forced to flee to the Vatican, bear arms at Lepanto, rot in a Barbary jail, work as a tax collector in Spain, and write the “Don Quixote” while back in the slammer.
Slated director is Antonio Hernandez (“In The City Without Limits”).
As with Zebra’s “Miguel and William,” — to be directed by Ines Paris in her first solo outing — the project plays off Spain’s “Quixote” fever, running high as the country celebrates the 400th of the publication of the story’s first part.
“This means that about 55% of the budget can be raised in Spain,” said Cecily Brown, who is producing “Cervantes” with Fortunata Films & TV partner Leslie Calvo. The e8.2 million ($10.5 million) project has offers from the U.K., she added.
Pic has a seal of approval from the commission managing the Fourth Centenary of the Quixote Publication, which opens the door for tax-deduction investment.
New Zeal MD Margaret Nicoll is in conversations with several sales agents. Her aim is to secure 10%-25% from mainland Europe via co-prod coin or a sales minimum guarantee. New Zeal is taking an associate producer credit on “Cervantes.”
Zebra’s “Miguel and William” will be directed by Paris, who previously directed “My Mother Loves Women” and “Semen: A Love Sample” with Daniela Fejerman.
“Miguel and William” The Spanish-English pic imagines a meeting in Spain between the Bard and the Quixote-creator during the four years when Shakespeare disappeared from historical records.