'Babel' director Iñárritu plots Barcelona-based project

7th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Movie to be produced by Mexican trio's Cha, cha, cha firm.

7 January 2008

BARCELONA - Alejandro González Iñárritu, the Mexican director of Amores perros and Babel, is to film his next movie in Barcelona's run-down Raval neighbourhood. Shooting for the project - which still has no official title - is due to start in May, and Spanish actor Javier Bardem is tipped to take the lead role.

In Barcelona in November, Iñárritu was scouting locations in Raval's narrow tangle of streets that run down to the former port area. While in the city he met with Bardem and the Spanish production crew, and began casting.

Bardem has just finished shooting in the city with Woody Allen. Presumably, Iñárritu won't be looking for funding from the Catalan authorities. Allen considered relocating after media criticism of taxpayers' money being invested in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which also stars Scarlett Johannson and Penélope Cruz.

This will be Iñárritu's first film without writer Guillermo Arriaga. After more than 15 years working together, the two split acrimoniously early last year in what the Mexican media dubbed "the most painful divorce in the history of Mexican cinema."

The new film will be produced by newly created production company, Cha, cha, cha, formed with fellow Mexican heavyweights Guillermo de Toro, director of Pan's Labyrinth, and Alfonso Cuarón, who made Children of Men. Already nicknamed the Tres Amigos, the three presented their first production at last year's Cannes film festival, Rudo y cursi (Noisy and fey), directed by Carlos Cuarón and with Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna as two overly competitive soccer-playing siblings.

The three said at Cannes that they have agreed to produce a total of five films together.

Iñárritu and Bardem crossed paths at Cannes, where the latter was promoting the Coen Brothers' No Country For Old Men. Iñárritu was among the 35 directors who had taken part in Chacun son Cinéma, each of whom had contributed a three-minute clip explaining their passion for film. Iñárritu's consisted of a close up of a young woman gazing at a movie screen.

[Copyright El Pais 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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