×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem in Talks to Star in Asghar Farhadi’s Spanish-Language Film (EXCLUSIVE)

PARIS — Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who just won two awards at Cannes for his Tehran-set drama “The Salesman” (Forushande), is resetting his untitled Spanish-language movie with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in advanced talks to star.

Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s Madrid-based El Deseo and Alexandre Mallet-Guy’s Memento Films are on board to produce the project, which is currently in development.

The project was born of Cruz and Farhadi’s mutual wish to work together, explained Mallet-Guy, who produced Farhadi’s last two movies, “The Past” and “The Salesman,” which just won awards for best screenplay and best actor (Shahab Hosseini) at Cannes.

Farhadi is currently finishing the original screenplay and will visit Spain next month to scout for locations that could feed into the script. Shooting is expected to begin summer or early fall next year.

The plot, which, as always with Farhadi’s films, remains mostly under wraps, revolves around a family of winemakers living in rural Spain.

“It’s a psychological thriller with a dash of Agatha Christie in it. The script is a real page-turner,” Mallet-Guy told Variety. The producer also said the project will weave in some moral themes as in Asghar’s previous films.

Agustin Almodovar, meanwhile, said “the film could offer cultural and industrial crossover which would be highly valuable in the current times.”

“We admire very much Asghar Farhadi’s films, and have a host of similarities and common interests, speaking in film terms. In the past, where there’s been an affinity with such great artists as Guillermo del Toro, that affinity has ended up generating a project in common,” Agustin Almodovar added, referring to 2001’s “The Devil’s Backbone,” also produced by El Deseo.

Farhadi had initially planned to shoot this Spanish film last October but said he felt “nostalgic” for Iran and opted to shoot “The Salesman” instead. Mallet-Guy said scheduling conflicts were also among the reasons for the change of plan. An American actor will complete the cast.

Although Farhadi doesn’t speak Spanish, he’s proven with “The Past” that he could pull off making a film in a language foreign to him. Indeed, “The Past” competed at Cannes, earned its star Berenice Bejo the award for best actress and went on to nab a Golden Globe nomination. “He has a wonderful intuition and a talent for listening to the music of words,” said Mallet-Guy.

Farhadi won the foreign-language Oscar and a Golden Globe for “A Separation” in 2012.

More Film

  • 'All These Small Moments' Review

    Film Review: 'All These Small Moments'

    The magic of writer-director Melissa B. Miller Costanzo’s “All These Small Moments” can be found within the intimacy of the scenarios, the authenticity of her earnest characterizations, and the accessibility of the actors’ honest performances. In her deftly polished directorial debut, Costanzo dovetails the primary story about a teen’s coming of age with a secondary [...]

  • Bruce Tufeld Dead: Hollywood Agent and

    Hollywood Agent and Manager Bruce Tufeld Dies at 66

    Bruce Tufeld, a Hollywood agent and manager who once repped stars like Rob Lowe, Laura Dern, and Kelsey Grammer, died Tuesday in Los Angeles as a result of complications from liver cancer. He was 66. The son of respected television announcer Richard “Dick” Tufeld and Adrienne Tufeld, Bruce began his career as an assistant at ICM [...]

  • Bruce Dern

    Film News Roundup: Bruce Dern's 'The Lears' Bought by Vertical for February Release

    In today’s film news roundup, Bruce Dern’s “The Lears” and “Angels Are Made of Light” are acquired, Cold War drama “Stanley Cage” is launched and a documentary about Madonna’s early music career gets a release. ACQUISITIONS Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights from NeoClassics Films to “The Lears,” starring Bruce Dern in a modern-day [...]

  • Octavia Spencer Bryce Dallas Howard

    Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard to Reunite for Comedy 'Fairy Tale Ending'

    Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard will reunite for the ensemble comedy “Fairy Tale Ending.” Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown) and Tracy McMillan (“Marvel’s Runaways”) are writing the screenplay. Howard will also produce the Universal movie through her Nine Muses Entertainment alongside Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson. Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins will produce [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content