MADRID — Spain’s two most recognizable cinematic faces, Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz, will co-star in a new film from Madrid’s The Mediapro Studio, titled “Competencia Oficial” (Official Competition), directed by Argentine filmmakers Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat (“The Distinguished Citizen,” “The Man Next Door”).
The pair recently both starred in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” although they never appeared together on screen. Banderas went on to win best actor at the Cannes Festival, a Spanish Academy Goya Award, and is now nominated for best actor at the Oscars.
Although the two have seen plenty of each other over the past year, promoting “Pain and Glory,” the last time they shared a scene was in 2013’s “I’m So Excited.”
Cohn and Duprat have recruited one of their most popular Argentine mature leading men to join the endeavor as well in Oscar Martínez, a Venice best actor winner for his work in “The Distinguished Citizen” and a San Sebastian best actor in Daniel Burman’s “Empty Nest.”
Other confirmed cast include multi-prized Spanish veteran José Luis Gómez, a Cannes best actor winner for his tearaway performance in 1976’s “Pascual Duarte,” “The Department of Time” star Carlos Hiplito, “Tell Me Who I Am” lead actress Irene Escolar, as well as Koldo Olabarri, Nagore Aramburu, Pilar Castro and Juan Grandinetti.
This will be the third feature co-produced by The Mediapro Studio and Duprat and Cohn after their respective solo features “My Masterpiece” and “4×4.”
The Mediapro Studio opened in Madrid last March to great fanfare and a catalog of 34 scripted series already in some form of production. The impressive list included projects with HBO, Canal Plus and Sky Italia, Disney, DirecTV Latin America, Viacom Intl. Studios, Turner Latin America, Vice and Amazon Prime Video among many others.
When The Mediapro Studio was officially unveiled by Variety in March, it already had 200 fiction titles, series and features, being written, in production or on the air. The highest profile feature production to date is Woody Allen’s provisionally-titled “Rifkin’s Festival,” co-starring Gina Gershon and Cristoph Waltz.