Javier Bardem to Star in Reposado-Mediapro-MK2 Title ‘The Good Boss,’ From Fernando León de Aranoa (EXCLUSIVE)

By John Hopewell, Elsa Keslassy

Javier Bardem is set to return to his native Spain to star in new feature “The Good Boss,” reuniting with director Fernando León de Aranoa, The Mediapro Studio and many of the social themes of 2002’s “Mondays in the Sun,” a movie that sealed a young Bardem’s acting reputation.

France’s MK2 Films, the Paris-based production, sales and exhibition company, has acquired international sales rights to the film, described as an offbeat satire with darkly comedic elements.

Produced by Fernando León de Aranoa’s own label, Reposado P.C., and The Mediapro Studio, the film will begin shooting this October.

Announced on the eve of 2020’s Toronto Film Festival, the ironic dramedy has Bardem in the lead role as the titular good boss, a charismatic and seemingly benevolent owner of a family factory who thinks he could be up for another local award for business excellence.

In order to improve productivity within a week and win, the good boss will cross every line imaginable, shamelessly meddling in his employees’ private lives, the film’s synopsis promises.

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“The Good Boss” will reunite much of the production and artistic team of León de Aranoa’s 2002 “Mondays in The Sun,” described by Variety at the time as a “tough-but-tender movie driven by perfectly modulated performances, an accomplished script and naturalistic dialogue,” which “consolidates Javier Bardem’s reputation as [Spain’s] leading young thesp.” Co-produced by Mediapro, and an homage to the resilience of Spain’s unemployed, it won best picture at San Sebastian and punched $13.5 million in global box office.

“The Good Boss is an acidic comedy and a corrosive view of personal and work relationships within a family company all tied together by Javier Bardem’s character,” said León de Aranoa.

“It’s especially thrilling for the three of us, Fernando, Javier and Mediapro, to work together again, after ‘Los lunes al sol’ [Mondays in the Sun], a film that meant a great deal to us,” added Jaume Roures, president of the Mediapro Group and the film’s producer.

He went on: “Now, 18 years later, our paths are crossing once again, with a project that tackles the socio-professional setting from a different perspective.”

Nathanaël Karmitz, CEO of MK2, said he was looking forward to be “collaborating for the first time with The Mediapro Studio and Reposado P.C. and this creative team.”

Karmitz described the film as a “very sharp and nuanced character study with very funny, biting humour at its centre, that make it both accessible and very relevant to our current times.”

The film is produced by León de Aranoa and Jaume Roures for Reposado P.C. and The Mediapro Studio, with the participation of Spanish public broadcaster TVE and pay TV operator Orange; Javier Méndez serves as executive producer from The Mediapro Studio. Delivery is scheduled for spring 2021.

“The Good Boss” is the third collaboration between León de Aranoa and Bardem who also made “Loving Pablo,” which screened in the 2017 Venice Festival Official Selection.

The new feature also marks the fifth film directed by León de Aranoa which is produced by The Mediapro Studio and the director’s label, Reposado PC. Other titles take in 2005’s “Princesas” which swept six Goya Awards and 2015’s “A Perfect Day,” starring Benicio Del Toro and Tim Robbins, which world premiered in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight.

Jaume Roures and Fernando León de Aranoa Credit: Mediapro