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Spain woos Woody

'Match Point' helmer continues to work abroad

Enjoying success with his U.K.-shot pic “Match Point,” Woody Allen is now setting his sights on Spain.

Allen has inked a deal to shoot an English-language pic in Spain for production house Mediapro, using international and Spanish actors, according to Mediapro prexy Jaume Roures. Production is set for 2007.

Deal was struck when Allen was in Barcelona last week to play with the New Orleans Jazz Band, Roures told Daily Variety.

“I’m delighted at being able to work with Mediapro and make a film in Spain, a country which has become so special to me,” Allen said in a Spanish-language press release issued by the production house.

Untitled project has yet to be written and is being structured as a co-production between Mediapro and one of Allen’s production shingles, Roures said.

Mediapro, one of Spain’s largest production houses, co-produced Oliver Stone’s Fidel Castro docu “Comandante” and Isabel Coixet’s “The Secret Life of Words.”

Allen has become a frequent visitor to Spain, whether to play with the Jazz Band or to vacation. In 2004, Allen chose the San Sebastian Film Festival for the world preem of “Melinda and Melinda.”

In turn, Spaniards appear fascinated by Allen, viewing him as a masterful ironist of the glitches in contempo relationships.

Still playing Spain’s top 10 after eight weeks, “Match Point” has grossed E5.9 million ($7 million). That’s almost up to final counts for “Hitch” ($8.1 million) and “The Island” ($8.9 million).

In 2002, Allen won Spain’s Prince of Asturias Arts Prize, and the northern town of Oviedo has erected a life-size statue of him. “Match Point” drew a Spanish Goya nom as best European film of 2005.

Allen is likely to helm the Spanish pic after completing a third U.K.-based film. He recently finished shooting “Scoop,” starring Scarlett Johansson and Hugh Jackman, in London.

(Pamela McClintock in Hollywood contributed to this report.)

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