You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ECAM Incubator Participant Daniel Castro on Catfish Comedy ‘Old Man in Love’

For his second feature, Navarre’s Daniel Castro will adapt a true story of international catfishing and drug-trafficking to construct a protagonist that inspires empathy and a load of laughs

MADRID — As far as film genres go, comedies often have the greatest difficulties in traveling abroad and translating in a meaningful way to foreign audiences. But, by the very nature of its narrative, Daniel Castro’s “Old Man in Love,” and upcoming project and part of the ECAM Incubator for Spanish films in development, will to buck that trend.

An intercontinental “love story,” “Old Man in Love” follows a too-trusting professor in his 70s across the globe as he looks to track down the four-decades-younger girl of his dreams.

Carlos, who teaches at the University of Navarre – one of Spain’s most prestigious and conservative Catholic universities – has all but given up on finding love as his online endeavors to court someone less than half his age have so far proved fruitless.

Just as his hope runs out, the genial geriatric is contacted by a young swimsuit model in Argentina named Claudia, and things quickly move forward between the two. In what audiences will see right away as a clear catfishing situation, Carlos pours his heart out to the young lady who refuses to send photos, as she is looking for someone who loves her for who she is, rather than what she looks like.

Carlos’ friend Marcelo, the sole voice of reason in this picture, convinces Carlos that this must be a scam of some sort and in lieu of any proof of her identity, Carlos finally cuts off communication with Claudia. Shortly thereafter Claudia reaches out, offering to pay for Carlos to come visit her on a commercial shoot in Chile. Convinced that this is the verification he has been looking for, Carlos sets off on a transatlantic series of misadventures and missed connections that end about as well as one might expect.

The film has a projected budget of €1.3million ($1.53million), and will be the fourth feature produced by Spain’s Jaime Gona through his company Gonita, its first in co-production with Latin America. Shooting is planned to kick off in September 2019 with release the following spring.

Castro discussed the upcoming project with Variety in a trio of interviews held with participants in the ECAM Incubator.

Comedy often springs from tragedy, and your proposed protagonist is truly a tragic character. How do you plan to make his plight funny in the face of such a pathetic tale?

The truth is that I always write tragedies. Terrible movies with characters disconnected, alone and deceived. But I like to take that tragedy to a point where it becomes funny. Take the character to such a degree of pathos that he becomes loved by the spectator. I think it has to do with the look and tone in which it is told, so that the viewer does not feel led to judge what he sees, but to understand and laugh with it.

How flexible are you with filming locations? You are taking liberties in fictionalizing the story, so it seems you could film almost anywhere!

We would like to shoot half of our movie in Spain, hopefully in Pamplona, my hometown, but the second half, could be shot in almost any Latin American country. Of course, I would make some changes in the script in order to make the story fit the location.

What is the state of the project in the moment? Is the script finished?

Yes, I just finished my third draft. I think Mar Coll’s and Diego San Jose’s remarks (they were my mentors at “The Incubator”) have been really useful. I’m really happy with this last draft.

Have you started casting? I imagine you will need a strong lead to carry this film as he is the one constant we will see throughout.

Yes, the protagonist is in almost every scene of the film! I usually tell stories that follow a main character all the way, so, as you say, we will need a solid actor. Luckily for us, there is no shortage of Spanish male actors in their fifties. Right now my producer and I are thinking over every option.

What did you learn on “Illusion” that you will bring with you to this film?

“Illusion” was my first feature, a no-budget film which was surprisingly successful on the Spanish independent movie scene (if such a thing exists). I learned a lot about everything movie-related with “Illusion.” I was the protagonist, writer, director and producer. First of all, I am learning there are things I’m not good at: Producing being one of them. Luckily, now Jaime Gona will do that. Another thing I learned from “Illusion” is that I am able to tell stories about clueless, narcissistic characters and make them funny and even tender. I hope I can do this again, this time in a more professional film.

More Film

  • Hugh Jackman Sings Happy Birthday to

    Hugh Jackman Leads Massive One-Man Show Crowd in 'Happy Birthday' for Ian McKellen

    Hugh Jackman may have had to skip Ian McKellen’s birthday party to perform his one-man show, “The Man, The Music, The Show,” but that didn’t mean he couldn’t celebrate his “X-Men” co-star’s 80th. Jackman took a moment at the Manchester Arena Saturday to lead the sold-out audience — some 50,000 strong — in a rendition [...]

  • Netflix, Shmetflix: At Cannes 2019, the

    Netflix, Shmetflix: At Cannes 2019, the Movies Needed Every Inch of the Big Screen

    In the May 24 edition of The New York Times, there was a column by Timothy Egan, entitled “The Comeback of the Century: Why the Book Endures, Even in an Era of Disposable Digital Culture,” that celebrated those things that come between two hard covers as a larger phenomenon than mere nostalgia. The column keyed [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Dominates International Box Office With $121 Million

    Disney’s “Aladdin” is showing plenty of worldwide drawing power with $121 million overseas for the weekend, opening in first place in nearly all international markets. The reboot of the 1992 animated classic has received strong family attendance with a significant gain on Saturday and Sunday. China leads the way with an estimated $18.7 million for [...]

  • Aladdin

    Box Office: 'Aladdin' Taking Flight With $105 Million in North America

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” is flying high with an estimated $105 million in North America during the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. It’s the sixth-highest Memorial Day weekend total ever, topping the 2011 mark of $103.4 million for “The Hangover Part II.” The top total came in 2007, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” [...]

  • Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special

    Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special Mention Winner ‘Monster God’

    CANNES – An exploration of the ramifications of God, “Monster God,” from Argentina’s Agustina San Martín, took a Special Mention – an effective runner’s up prize – on Saturday night at this year’s Cannes Film Festival short film competition. It’s not difficult to see why, especially when jury president Claire Denis own films’ power resists [...]

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content