MADRID — Antonio Banderas, Spain’s first homeboy made good in modern-day Hollywood, will be treading native soil more often.
Banderas has built a production operation in Spain, based out of his birthplace, the Andalusian city port of Malaga.
One of Banderas’ earliest productions, kids’ CG feature “The Missing Lynx,” on which he takes a producer credit, screens at the American Film Market this week, sold by 6 Sales.
Other pics are in the pipeline.
“Lynx” is the first movie from Kandor Moon, a new 50-50 label created by Banderas’ Malaga production house, Green Moon, and Granada’s Kandor Graphics. It aims to make five toon features over 10 years.
Its next, “Goleor,” is a medieval fantasy, directed by Manuel Sicilia, about a timid boy’s dreams of becoming a knight.
“I don’t rule out voicing a character, even directing,” says Banderas, the familiar voice of “Shrek’s” Puss-in-Boots.
In live action, Green Moon is prepping a second feature, rolling 2009, “Dia roto” (Broken Day), from Nestor Dennis.
Banderas will produce and direct his third feature, “Boabdil,” a revisionist 15-century romantic epic, about Granada’s last Moorish ruler.
Banderas is almost singlehandedly countering the trend of Spanish talent, including Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Alex Pastor, Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, leaving Spain for Hollywood.
The question’s whether Spain’s prodigal son, who trailblazed opportunities for Latinos in Hollywood, can now become a homecoming king.
Banderas has certainly got a strong home fanbase: Spaniards like his down-to-earth modesty.
At Green Moon, he says typically, “We’re humble, we’ll try to grow little by little, learning all the time.”
His toon production underscores this gradual approach.
Directed by Manuel Sicilia and Raul Garcia, “Lynx,” about a bevy of animals fleeing a madcap millionaire’s Noah’s Ark, is CG animation. “Goleor” will be made in 3-D. Kandor Moon’s testing 3-D technology for a short movie before the full feature.
Banderas has surrounded himself with strong local players.
“Lynx” is co-produced by Ricky Posner’s YaYa! Films and Manuel Cristobal’s Perro Verde, two active Spanish producers.
Garcia is a former Disney and DreamWorks animator. Banderas has teamed with Maestranza Films’ Antonio Perez, Andalusia’s top pic producer, to back new directors.
Also, Banderas isn’t giving up on Hollywood — like Guillermo del Toro, he’s working in and out of the studio system.
“Working with Jeffrey Katzenberg has held me in good stead,” for animation, he claims. DreamWorks Animation plans both “Shrek Goes Fourth” and a “Puss-in-Boots” feature in 2010.
He’s also considering a possible partnership with the Abu Dhabi Media Co. and has visited Dubai and Qatar, meeting with Jordan’s Queen Noor.
“We’re looking for partners. It’s important if you’re talking about a stage of Spanish history where Arabs were so vitally important, especially ‘Boabdil,’ ” Banderas says, animatedly.