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Arcadia to produce ‘Blackthorn’

Film a reprise of the Butch Cassidy legend

SEVILLE, Spain — Ibon Cormenzana’s Arcadia Motion Pictures will produce “Blackthorn,” a reprise of the Butch Cassidy legend, directed by Mateo Gil.

Set around 1910, Western will topline Sam Shepard, Stephen Rea and Eduardo Noriega. Exective production will be carried out by Andres Santana’s Aiete Films.

The English-language “Blackthorn” has Shepard as an incognito Butch Cassidy 15 years after his supposed gunning down by the Bolivian police, plotting to return to the U.S. and retire. Noriega plays a trigger-happy cowboy who loses Cassidy’s life savings, pushing Cassidy into a final job, a mine heist. Rea limns a railroad employee, originally sent after Cassidy following his string of U.S. bank robberies, who’s still keen to hunt Cassidy down.

“Blackthorn” is looking at a March shoot in Alicante, Spain, and on location in Bolivia. Spanish pubcaster pre-bought the pic, and will handle international sales.

“Blackthorn” is budgeted at $7.5 million, Cormenzana said at the Seville European Festival, where he also announced a second project, “Snowhite,” the sophomore feature of Pablo Berger, whose debut, “Torremolinos 73,” was the subject of a hit Chinese remake.

Rolling in May, and backed by Eurimages funding, “Snowhite” reps a comedy makeover of the Snow White fairytale, transposing it to 1920s Seville. Maribel Verdu (“Tetro”) will play the evil stepmother, Cormenzana said. The dwarfs perform as circus bullfighters.

Budgeted at $7.2 million, “Snowhite” will be co-produced with France’s Noodles Prods.

Arcadia is one of the two or three Spanish companies regularly tapping tax breaks in Spain. Tax money reps of 15%-20% of films’ financing, Cormenzana said. Money is channeled through Agrupaciones de Interes Economico — tax deduction companies — which act as official producers on films.

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