×

Spain’s Zeta Cinema Sets 2013-14 Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

In the mix: Ripoll’s “Here and Now,” a "La marca del meridional" makeover

SAN SEBASTIAN – Zeta Cinema, the film production arm of Spanish publishing conglom Zeta Group, has set a 2013-14 slate whose seven titles confirms it as the most prolific of production houses in Spain.

Unveiled by Zeta Cinema producer Francisco Ramos, the line-up features two new titles – Maria Ripoll’s romantic comedy “Here and Now” and an adaptation of Lorenzo Silva’s best-selling novel “La marca del meridional,” winner of Spain’s 2012 Planeta Prize, its best-known literary plaudit.

The seven movies also confirm Zeta’s push into family entertainment, targeting an underserved demo in Spain, plus movies with robust international potential.

That’s no pipedream. Lead produced by Mod Producciones, “Zip & Zap and the Marble Game,” which teams four of Spain’s most international players – Mod, Zeta Cinema, Atresmedia Cine and Kowalski Films – bows Saturday at San Sebastian playing its Velodrome in the festival’s first big family screening.

Disney opens “Zip & Zap” Oct. 4 on around 300 DCP copies, maybe 400 screens: a weighty print run.

Popular on Variety

Off “Zip & Zap’s” Toronto world premiere, Film Factory closed Germany in a reportedly weighty deal with Wild Bunch Germany, Brazil (California Filmes), Latin America pay TV (LAP TV), Portugal (ZON Lusomundo) and Turkey (Medyavision).

Japan is close to closing. Film Factory is fielding offers for France and receiving interest from the U.S., said Film Factory’s Vicente Canales.

Penned by “Zip & Zap” co-scribes Jorge Lara and Francisco Roncal,  “Here” turns on a couple who decide to marry in London, where they met.

The best laid plans: a Spanish air controllers’ strike and volcanic eruption in Iceland keep them apart as their separate flights are re-routed all over Europe.

Shooting fall 2014, “Marca” is Silva’s seventh novel featuring Civil Guards Virginia Chamorro and Ruben Bevilacqua who is dispatched to Catalonia after the murder of his mentor, another Civil Guard.

“We are looking to turn this novel into an event movie and eventually a major franchise making a gritty, dark ‘policiaco’ in the vein of  ‘Chinatown’ and the police thriller movies of David Fincher, like ‘Zodiac,’ or his take on ‘Millennium,’” said Ramos.

“I believe the novel is extraordinary and in addition to telling a great police story it touches many issues of large contemporary repercussion,” Ramos added, saying Zeta would attach a major director very shortly to put the big screen makeover into production fall 2014 for a fall 2015 release.

Of other Zeta Cinema movies, Quim Gutierrez (“The Last Days,” “Cousinhood”) will play bumbling spy Anacleto in Zeta comic book adaptation “Anacleto Secret Agent,” an espionage action-comedy helmed by Javier Ruiz Caldera (“Three Many Weddings,” “Ghost Promotion”). It shoots April.

Sony will open in Spain on Christmas Day Marcelo Pinyero’s family melodrama “Ismael,” which has just locked. Two of Spain’s biggest marquee draws, Mario Casas and Belen Rueda, star alongside Sergi Lopez and Juan Diego Botto. Film Factory will launch sales at the American Film Market.

Warner Bros. Pictures will put out in Spain over fourth quarter 2014 the 3 D toon pic “Mortadelo y Filemon contra Jimmy el Cachondo,” produced by Zeta Cinema and Madrid studio Ilion Animation.

Zeta has set January shoot dates for “Mostoles no es lo que parece, o la importancia de llamarse Encarna,” a dramatic comedy toplining Carmen Ruiz and Carmen Castano, from Vicente Villanueva (“The Opposite of Love”).

Daniel Calparsoro’s “Combustion,” a love triangle imbroglio come car-race actioner, underperformed in Spain by Zeta Cinema’s standards, grossing just $1.7 million this spring, but has near sold out worldwide, Ramos said.

That has honed Zeta’s priorities.

“We’re looking to make more family films, adapting Zeta’s comic book properties,“ Ramos said.

“But Spain’s market is shrinking. We can make local movies at the right price, but more expensive movies need to work internationally,” he added.

More Film

  • 1917 Movie

    Why '1917' Is the Last Film That Should Be Winning the Oscar (Column)

    There’s a feeling I always get at the end of a long Oscar night when the movie that won isn’t a terrible choice, but it’s the safe, blah, MOR predictable choice, the one that conforms to the dullest conventional wisdom about the kinds of movies Oscar voters prefer, because in the core of their being [...]

  • Civil Rights Drama 'Praying for Sheetrock'

    Civil Rights Drama 'Praying for Sheetrock' in the Works as Feature Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    Enderby Entertainment is developing a feature film based on Melissa Fay Greene’s civil rights drama “Praying for Sheetrock,” Variety has learned exclusively. The non-fiction book, published in 1991, was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, Georgia Historical Society Bell Award and the ACLU National Civil [...]

  • Jared Harris arrives at the 26th

    No, Jared Harris is Not Playing Doctor Octopus in Marvel's 'Morbius'

    The first-ever trailer for Marvel and Sony’s next Spider-man spinoff “Morbius” left comic book fans reeling with theories. While the plight of the main character, Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) – a scientist dying of a rare blood disease who accidentally turns himself into a vampire – seemed ripped right out of the comics, the [...]

  • SAG Awards 2020: What You Didn't

    SAG Awards 2020: From Charlize Theron to 'Parasite,' What You Didn't See on TV

    Brad Pitt made a crack about his marriages. Robert De Niro got political. And Jennifer Aniston talked about appearing in a commercial for Bob’s Big Boy. Those were just some of thing that happened on stage at the SAG Awards that were broadcast on TNT/TBS on Sunday night. However, Variety was inside the Shrine Auditorium [...]

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    'Bad Boys for Life' Triumphs on MLK Weekend With $73 Million Launch

    “Bad Boys for Life” has given a jolt to the North American box office, blasting past forecasts with a $73.4 million opening at 3,775 sites over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The third iteration of the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence action comedy franchise will finish the Friday-Monday as Sony Pictures’ biggest R-rated opening ever [...]

  • Laurene Powell Jobs

    Laurene Powell Jobs Invests in Davis Guggenheim's Concordia Studio

    Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim and Jonathan King are launching Concordia Studio in partnership with Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective. Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, founded social change organization Emerson Collective in 2004. Emerson Collective became the majority owner of the Atlantic in 2017 and made an investment in 2018 in Reese [...]

  • Jumbo

    Noémie Merlant on Sundance Player 'Jumbo,' Feature Directorial Debut 'Mi Lubita'

    French actor Noémie Merlant plays a young woman who falls in love with a funfair ride in Zoé Wittock’s “Jumbo,” which is screening in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Variety spoke to her about the film, and her debut feature as director “Mi Lubita.” Merlant is viewed as one of the most promising actors of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content