Rodar, Becker remake ‘Guest’

Morales to direct English-language pic

MADRID — Barcelona production house Rodar y Rodar has teamed with London-based Becker Intl. to produce an English-language remake of Guillem Morales’ 2005 psychological thriller “El habitante incierto” (The Uncertain Guest).

Morales will supervise the screenplay, written by U.K. scribe William Davies, and helm the remake.

Becker will represent the film for international sales outside of Spain with Iain Canning acting as U.K. producer.

Below-the-line budget comes in around Euros 6 million ($8.3 million), said Rodar prexy Joaquin Padro.

“Our intention is for the cast to feature ‘A’ list U.K./U.S. talent,” Padro said.

Pic will shoot in London and Barcelona in 2008. The producers aim to work with some of the original’s crew, shoot mostly in Spain, but set the film in London, said Canning.

“The remake will be more open, bigger, less abstract, more realist and take in lots of London detail,” said Rodar producer Mar Targarona.

For Morales, “An English-language remake broadens potential audiences and will allow us to work, I hope, with some marvelous English or American actors.”

A chic, youth-skewed classical psychothriller with echoes of Hitchcock, “Habitante” turns on an increasingly delirious architect’s obsession with a man who’s taken up residence in his house, just as the architect is separating from his girlfriend.

“Guest” bowed to upbeat critical response at the Sitges Festival in 2005, being the first film produced under Rodar’s Esta Vivo! Label, which is dedicated to projects by new talent.

Godfathered by Guillermo del Toro, the second Rodar new talent pic, Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Orphanage,” was picked up for U.S. distribution by Picturehouse at Berlin and played Cannes Critics’ Week.

Albert Espinosa’s “Don’t Ask Me to Kiss You Because I Will,” is currently in post for Rodar.

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