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Woody Allen Teams With Spain’s Mediapro for Next Film

MADRID — Woody Allen is re-teaming with Spain’s Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent film-TV companies, to develop his next film with an eye it seems to shooting in Spain.

Mediapro co-financed and co-produced two of Allen’s highest-grossing movies, 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which grossed $96.4 million worldwide, and 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” which earned $151.2 million around the world.

A spokeswoman for Mediapro confirmed to Variety that Mediapro, with 56 offices in 36 countries, will produce Woody Allen’s next film.

“The project is still at an initial step and it is too early to talk about locations or other details,” she added.

According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, which cites confirmation by Mediapro sources, Allen’s team has been scouting locations in the Basque Country. No details of the film projects’s title, cast or indeed subject have emerged.

Mediapro executives will meet with the San Sebastian-Gipuzkoa Film Commission today Friday to discuss “the possibility of shooting in San Sebastian and Gipuzkoa, the surrounding Basque province, San Sebastian deputy mayor Ernesto Gasco told Spanish news agency Efe. Allen is a popular figure at the San Sebastian Festival, where he received a Premio Donostia in 2004, opening the festival with “Melinda and Melinda.” He returned for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” and has visited Spain on multiple occasions to play in the New Orleans Jazz Band.

The meeting with Basque authorities looks like a traditional costing exercise. Mediapro and Letty Aronson, the director’s longterm producer and sister, proved adept on both “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “Midnight in Paris” is tapping into local incentives or tax rebates which allowed shoots to go ahead.

In Spain, as indeed France, Allen is still revered as an artist and supported by much of its creative community, despite allegations by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow of sexual abuse in 1992.

In a statement cited by The New York Times, Mediapro said that it has “a 10-year relationship with Mr. Allen and, like all projects we produce, we judge the creator by their work.”

A guest at Lyon’s Lumière Festival in October, Javier Bardem, who starred in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” which won Penelope Cruz a supporting actress Academy Award, declared in a Q & A that he would “work again with Woody Allen tomorrow” if asked. His declaration was met by warm applause.

News of Allen’s new project comes just weeks after Allen filed a $68 million suit against Amazon for canceling a four-movie production-distribution deal. Amazon has no plans to release Allen’s latest film, “A Rainy Day in New York.”

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