Telecinco sells duo to WB

B'cster unveils 2010-11 slate

MADRID — Telecinco Cinema, Spain’s most powerful movie producer, has inked distribution rights with Warner Bros. Pictures Intl. Spain to two upcoming Spanish pics: Enrique Urbizu’s thriller “No habra paz para los malvados” and Jesus Bonilla’s comedy “La daga de Rasputin.”

WB will release both titles theatrically in 2011.

Spanish helmer Urbizu’s feature film direction comeback after a seven-year hiatus, “Paz” is co-produced with Madrid-based LaZona Films.

Telecinco co-produces “Rasputin” with Enrique Cerezo PC. Pic re-unites three well-known Spanish TV fiction thesps — Bonilla, Antonio Resines and Antonio Molero, who all starred in Telecinco’s primetime hit comedy “The Serranos” from 2003 to 2008.

The two movies form part of TC’s new film slate for the 2010-2011, which is lead by Juan Antonio Bayona’s 2004 tsunami drama “The Impossible,” reportedly budgeted at $45 million.

Now shooting at Alicante’s Ciudad de la Luz Studios, “The Impossible’s” cast includes Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland — who played in “Billy Elliot The Musical” in U.K. theaters, and Spanish actresses Marta Etura and Geraldine Chaplin.

Sold internationally by Summit Ent. and co-produced with Enrique Lopez Lavigne and Belen Atienza’s Apaches Ent., “Impossible” moves in October to a two-month Thailand shoot.

TC’s 2010-2011 slate also includes Eduardo Chapero-Jackson’s futuristic fantasy “Verbo” and Eugenio Mira’s period thriller “Agnosia,” both handled theatrically by

Aurum Producciones, plus Mariano Barroso’s suspenser “Lo mejor de Eva,” toplining Leonor Watling and Miguel Angel Silvestre.

Obliged to invest in Spanish or European movies by Spanish law from 1999, Telecinco has often made a virtue out of necessity, producing international hits such as Bayona’s “The Orphanage” and Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

However, TC lost on average around 30% of its investment in every film project, said Telecinco CEO Paolo Vasile.

TC is betting on one high-budget Spanish film project a year plus smaller movies, often to nurture new talent, Vasile added.

There haven’t been any overnight changes in TC film policy, but the company is adapting to hard times for the Spanish film industry.

“Our low-budget pics will be lower,” said TC CEO Ghislain Barrois. “Their financing structure is less risky than movies over $1.5 million.”

TC’s bigger-budget pics will roll off international financing.

“‘The Impossible’ has already covered 80% of the budget,” TC general director Alvaro Augustin said.