×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jean Reno Boards Pablo Aragüés’ Fantasy Thriller ‘1,200 Souls’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Produced by Marta Cabrera, “1,200 Souls” marks the first Spanish title for the French acting icon

One of France’s best known actors, Jean Reno (“Leon: the Professional,” “Ronin,” “The Da Vinci Code”), is attached to star in “1.200 Almas” (“1,200 Souls),” a fantasy thriller from the Zaragoza-based producer-director tandem of Marta Cabrera and Pablo Aragüés whose “Novatos” proved a Netflix worldwide distribution pick-up.

L.A.-based Outsider Pictures Paul Hudson is handling world sales rights and executive produces along with Zaragoza VFX house Entropy Studio.

Despite Reno’s Spanish origins – his parents hail from Cadiz in Andalusia – “1.200” marks the first Spanish film for an actor who has sought to buck typecasting in a multitude of roles whose international titles take in “Nikita,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Godzilla” and “The Last Face.”

Reno, who won a European Film Academy’s European Achievement in World Cinema Awardin 2000, joins Swiss-Spaniard Ingrid García-Jonsson, who broke out with Jaime Rosales’ 2014 Cannes Un Certain Regard entry “Beautiful Youth,” scoring a Spanish Academy best new actress nomination, and Nicolás Coronado, star of Aragüés’ second movie, “Novatos.”

Since the late ‘90s, Spain has carved out a reputation for an auteur genre titles which twin fantasy genre narrative with more social or personal concerns. “1,200 Souls” seems no exception. a highlight of June’s Small is Beautiful showcase, it is set in a small town nestling in the lap of the high Pyrenees, to which a young woman, Carla, returns to scatter her mother’s ashes, only to be confronted by violence, deaths and the seemingly supernatural, such as the spontaneous combustion.

Reno will play the role of Jacques the Frenchman, a hermit who knows more than he lets on and proves the only villager who stands by Carla as she seeks to get to the bottom of events.

Aragüés said that he wrote the screenplay of “1,200 Souls” with Reno in mind, calling it a “privilege” to work with such an actor.

In 1939, at the tail-end of the Spanish Civil War, thousands of Spaniards fled Spain over treacherous passes in its Pyrenees attempting to reach France and a safe haven from poverty, jail and even execution at the hands of Franco’s victorious Nationalists. A film about “a girl looking for her origins,” Cabrera told Variety, “1,200 Souls” has “a background of refugees during the 1930s Spanish Civil War, which is a mirror [reflecting] the conflicts of refugees today, fleeing from horror.”

“1,200 Souls” will go into production in Summer 2018, shooting entirely in Aragón, whose authorities are championing the title: the supernatural thriller is Aragón TV, the Government, Aragón, Zaragoza Town Hall and Aragon Film Commission.

More Film

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    Chiwetel Ejiofor Adds Authenticity to Directorial Debut by Shooting in Malawi

    When actor Chiwetel Ejiofor optioned the rights for the 2009 best-seller “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” penning the screenplay for a feature directorial debut that world-premieres in Sundance and then appears in the Berlin Film Festival before being released globally by Netflix this spring, colleagues floated the idea of shooting the Malawi-set film in tried-and-tested [...]

  • ally billboard a star is born

    Oscar Campaign Spending Reaches New Heights in Competitive Season

    The escalating cost of awards campaigning may reach an all-time high this season as heavyweights such as “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” battle for Oscar gold. The quest for an Academy Award has always been expensive, but Netflix’s hunger to nab its first best picture win, coupled with the presence of legitimate studio contenders [...]

  • The Wizard of Oz

    'The Wizard of Oz' to Return to Theaters for 80th Anniversary

    “The Wizard of Oz” is returning to theaters this weekend for a special limited engagement marking the 80th anniversary of the film’s Hollywood premiere. Fathom Events, TCM, and Warner Bros. are re-releasing the beloved family film in select theaters across the country beginning on Sunday, Jan. 27, with additional dates on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Wednesday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content