In conjunction with news that hit on Monday, ScreenDaily have reported that both Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz will make a (quick) reunion with Pedro Almodóvar on his next film, Standby Lovers. The extent of their work will only require one day of production — my condolences if you wanted more the duo — but this scene will, somewhat amazingly, mark the first time they’ve ever worked together. (Hard as that is to believe.)
Lovers sees Almodóvar return to the comedic stylings that marked his earlier career, with the story revolving around a group of airline passengers confessing their secrets when their craft appears to be on its way down. One could, knowing this, wager a guess or two as to the nature of Cruz and Banderas‘ roles — quick cut-aways to the people in first class, or something of the sort — but the pre-collected cast will still be taking precedence here. That grouping, if you didn’t know, is comprised of Javier Cámara (Talk to Her), Cecilia Roth (All About My Mother), Lola Dueñas (Volver) José María Yazpik (The Burning Plain), Carlos Areces (Extraterrestrial), Raúl Arévalo, and Paz Vega.
Standby Lovers is expected to open next spring.
Further updates come in from Variety, who first inform us that Kristin Scott is leading the religion-based thriller (with an oddly-long title) Vatican, Christ Lives With the Borgias. Sergi López, André Dussollier, and a soon-to-be-signed “high-profile Italian thesp” are co-starring for director Laurent Herbiet; he’s co-written a scathing, “fact-based” investigation into nefarious practices carried out by the Catholic church, a “power struggle and alleged money laundering within the Holy See” — along with some odd relations between Pope Benedict XVI and his secretary — being some of the main points.
At the center of it will be Scott Thomas‘ character, the mother of real-life guard Cédric Tornay — he killed himself, his Swiss Guard commander, Alois Estermann, and the man’s wife in 1998 — who’s convinced that her son didn’t commit these crimes. (Comparisons to The Insider and Erin Brockovich start to click all of a sudden.) The research process on Vatican been underway for about three years, and Variety indicates the production still won’t get going for another year. In the meantime, some controversy may begin to build.
The other story concerns a very different kind of film: Wrong Cops, the third outing from Quentin Dupieux (Rubber, Wrong). A quick preview recently came in the form of a short, starring the actual feature’s main cast (Marilyn Manson, Grace Zabriskie, and Mark Burnham), but that’s now expanding into a full-length effort; Kurt Fuller (Midnight in Paris, Wayne’s World) and Agnes Bruckner have been added to the lineup.
I chuckled quite audibly when reading the logline, which describes Wrong Cops as the exploits of “a group of really bad cops as they try to dispose of a nearly dead body that one of them has shot by mistake.” Considering the word that’s surrounded his first two films, I expect nothing less than completely bizarre.
Are you happy to see Banderas and Cruz pair up, even in a limited capacity? Does Vatican sound like a blistering investigation, or will that honor go to Wrong Cops?