MADRID – Oona Chaplin, memorable as Talisa Maegyr, the wife of Robb Stark in “Game of Thrones,” is set for a distinct change of direction starring in Spanish psychological chiller “Purgatorio,” from “The Impossible” producer Apaches Entertainment.
Barcelona-based Film Factory Entertainment, one of Spain’s top sales companies, will introduce “Purgatorio” to buyers at Berlin’s European Film Market.
The directorial debut of Catalan Pau Teixidor, and going into production Dec. 1 in Spain, “Purgatorio” is also the latest movie from Spain’s seemingly bottomless talent pool of young genre pic directors, whose preference for psychological thrillers over slashers – think “The Orphanage” – allow their movies to play primetime on local broadcasters and reach broader audiences, including important femme demos, abroad.
Ever more dependent on international revenues, as Spanish box office continues to sag, whammied by piracy and a 21% sales tax on theater tickets, even when made in Spanish, Spanish genre movies need international name cast.
Catapulted to worldwide fame by “Games of Thrones” – ‘though she has had high-profile roles such as the girlfriend of Dr. John Watson in BBC “Sherlock” – Chaplin is now a powerful key cast choice for Spain.
The daughter of Madrid-based Geraldine Chaplin and Chilean cinematographer Patricio Castilla, Chaplin is bilingual in Spanish and English, and instantly recognizable to millions abroad as the healer on the battlefields of Westerlands who wins Robb Stark’s heart.
In “Purgatorio,” Chaplin plays a young woman who agrees to look after Daniel, a neighbor’s young son. But, as the night wears on, the neighbor never returns, and Daniel’s behavior becomes ever more unstable, unsettling and violent as he insists there’s another boy hiding in the house, whom only he can see.
“Purgatorio” marks Chaplin’s first lead role. Sergi Mendez plays her young ward. Andres Gertrudix (“The Orphanage”) and Ana Fernandez (“Talk to Her”) complete key cast.
“Purgatorio” is co-produced by Atresmedia Cine, the film arm of Atresmedia Corporacion, one of Spain’s top two commercial broadcast network groups, and Cine365 Film, a website detailing movie releases in Spain.
BoxOffice.Script, a Spanish consultancy, selected “Purgatorio’s” screenplay, by Luis Moreno (Spain’s “Lalola”) out of 200 presented screenplays. “The Orphanage” and “The Impossible” screenwriter Sergio Sanchez, one of Cine365 Film’s godfathers, has worked as a script doctor on “Purgatorio.”
After a string viral campaign soliciting candidates, Cine365 and Enrique Lopez Lavigne and Belen Atienza’s Apaches chose Teixidor, celebrated for his short “Leyenda,” which won the Best Spanish Short Audience Award at the 2011 San Sebastian Fantastic and Horror Film Week and Canada’s 2012 Fantasia Festival Jury Prize.
BoxOffice.Script is run by L.A-based box office analyst-producer Pau Brunet and Variety’s Emilio Mayorga.