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Antonio Banderas preps ‘Akil’

Love story will star Melanie Griffith

In what looks set to be his third directorial outing, Antonio Banderas will helm love story “Akil,” starring his wife, Melanie Griffith.

Banderas has completed the screenplay and will produce “Akil” via his Green Moon shingle, based in Malaga, Spain.

“Akil” takes its title from the name of an African boy who reaches Spain in a small boat. Fleeing from the police, he takes shelter in the house of an American woman.

“This is a love story between two completely different people — in age, attitude, religion, wealth — who end up being essential to each other,” Banderas told Variety.

The boy still has to be cast, he added.

Banderas will fully-finance “Akil.” “My country, Spain, is in tremendous financial crisis. It’s very difficult to obtain funds to make a movie. I have conceived ‘Akil’ so as not to depend on third-party funding,” Banderas said.

“Akil’s” shoot dates will depend on Banderas’ other commitments in 2013.

He will produce and star in the sci-fier “Automata,” helmed by Spain’s Gabe Ibanez (“Hierro”). Green Moon produces with Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films. “Automata” rolls April 29 at Nu Image’s Nu Boyana Film Studios in Bulgaria. Nu Image pre-sold almost all worldwide territories on the pic at the American Film Market, Banderas said.

Banderas may also take a role in Mike Medavoy-produced “The 33.” Helmed by Mexico’s Patricia Riggen, it is inspired by the true story of the 33 trapped Chilean miners.

Banderas is also committed to play Pablo Picasso in Carlos Saura’s “33 Days,” he said.

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