×

Gael Garcia Bernal to Star in Alonso Ruizpalacios’ ‘Museum’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Anant Singh, Brian Cox of Distant Horizon executive produce

Gael Garcia Bernal is toplining Alonso Ruizpalacios’ second feature, “Museum” (“Museo”).

Not unlike Ruizpalacios’ breakout hit, “Gueros,” “Museo” is a coming-of-age story, this time within a heist-road movie based on real events in the ‘80s. “Museo” recounts the circumstances behind the theft of pre-Hispanic artifacts from Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology and the shocking discovery that the thieves turned out to be two young men from the suburbs, instead of what was assumed to be the work of an international ring of art thieves.

On board as executive producers are Garcia Bernal, Anant Singh and Brian Cox of Distant Horizon and Moises Cosio of Detalle Films. Distant Horizon will handle international sales.

“We established a relationship with Distant Horizon when we collaborated on Ralph Ziman’s “Kite,” Atom Egoyan’s “Remember” and “Un padre no tan padre,” said producer Gerardo Gatica of Panorama Global who estimates that the film will end up costing less than $5 million, but with a higher-than-average budget for a Mexican film.

“Our talks with Gael, who’s an old friend of Alonso’s, began two-and-a-half years ago, but we had to adjust to his schedule,” said Gatica whose co-producers include “Gueros” producer Ramiro Ruiz, Panorama partner Alberto Muffelmann and co-scribe Manuel Alcala whose research on the project began some 10 years ago.

Garcia Bernal and Leonardo Ortizgris (“Gueros”) play the two aimless, misguided young men whose heist made international headlines.

““Museum” is not a faithful reconstruction of the event, in fact I’ve changed the real characters’ names,” said Ruizpalacios, who is currently in production on the drama.

He added: “I was inspired by the story to make an allegory for young people’s search for identity and meaning in their lives,” he said, a theme he also explored in “Gueros.” The rest of the cast includes Lisa Owen, Simon Russel Beale, Leticia Bredice, Ilse Salas (“Gueros”), Bernardo Velasco and Chile’s Alfredo Castro (“No,” “From Afar”).

“My co-writer Alcala and I were very inspired by ‘Badlands’ where Terrence Malick took a true story and made it his own,” said Ruizpalacios. He has rounded up his loyal “Gueros” team for his sophomore pic, including DP Damian Garcia who is using 35 mm film to lend a closer approximation of the ‘80s.

“‘Badlands’ and Nicolas Roeg’s ‘Walkabout’ are important visual references for us,” said Garcia. “Gueros” editor Yibran Asuad and production designer Sandra Cabriada have also joined the “Museum” team.

“Museum” is being shot on location in Mexico City, Palenque and Acapulco, as well as Churubusco Studios where they recreated the interior of the Museum of Anthropology.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Fernando Meirelles The Two Popes

    AFI Fest Adds 'The Two Popes,' 'Aeronauts,' Alan Pakula Tribute

    The American Film Institute has added “The Two Popes” and “The Aeronauts” as galas during the upcoming AFI Fest along with a tribute to the late director Alan Pakula. AFI had previously announced that the romantic drama “Queen & Slim” would launch the 33rd annual festival on Nov. 14 and close with the world premiere [...]

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Recalls Husband Blake Edwards' Battle With Depression

    The line to see Julie Andrews at the 92Y wrapped around the square of a sprawling New York City block. Seventy years since the start of her career, 60 since she asked “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” as Lerner and Loewe’s first Eliza and 50 since she sang “The Sound of Music” before the Eastern Alps [...]

  • Bloodshot (Vin Diesel) in Columbia Pictures'

    Vin Diesel Comes Back to Life in 'Bloodshot' Trailer

    Vin Diesel is coming back again and again in Sony Pictures’ first trailer for “Bloodshot.” In the forthcoming superhero adventure, Diesel portrays Ray Garrison a.k.a. Bloodshot, a soldier who gets rebuilt by a corporation following his death. The clip, released Monday and scored to Johnny Cash’s rendition of the ballad “Memories are Made of This,” [...]

  • Bouli Lanners Teams With 'Peaky Blinders'

    Bouli Lanners Teams With 'Peaky Blinders' Director Tim Mielants on 'Wise Blood'

    Bouli Lanners, the Belgian actor-director of “The Giants” and “Eldorado,” is teaming with “Peaky Blinders” helmer Tim Mielants to direct “Wise Blood,” an English-language film that will star “Game of Thrones” actor Michelle Fairley and Julian Glover. “Wise Blood” is a Belgian-Scottish-French co-production between Versus Production, Barry Crerar, and Playtime, which will handle international sales [...]

  • Bombshell Charlize Theron Megyn Kelly

    'Bombshell': Why Charlize Theron Was Terrified of Playing Megyn Kelly

    Charlize Theron is getting some of the best buzz of her career for channeling Megyn Kelly in “Bombshell,” but the Oscar-winning actress admits she almost turned down the role. “I was shit scared,” Theron said during a question-and-answer session following a Manhattan screening of “Bombshell” on Sunday. Partly, she was worried about portraying someone who [...]

  • Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy

    Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy Mills to Co-Produce SAG Awards

    Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner’s Hazy Mills Productions have joined the SAG Awards producing team. The guild announced this morning that Kathy Connell will once again serve as the show’s producer along with Hayes and Milliner in partnership with Avalon Harbor. “Attending the SAG Awards has always been a pleasure and a privilege for me,” [...]

  • Maleficent Mistress of Evil

    Box Office: Why 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Fizzled

    Despite nabbing first place at the domestic box office, Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted significantly below expectations and demonstrated that even the most powerful studio in Hollywood is susceptible to missteps. The follow-up to 2014’s “Maleficent” kicked off in North America with a lackluster $36 million bow, an underwhelming result for a film that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content