COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES ESPAÑA
Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte, the upscale Paris-based arthouse film company, has taken a co-production stake in Spaniard Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s political corruption thriller “El Reino,” probably one of the most talked-about Spanish productions of the upcoming months.
Doing so, Le Pacte, which acquired French distribution rights to Sorogoyen’s previous film, serial killer thriller “May God Save Us,” a best screenplay winner at 2016’s San Sebastian Festival, goes one step further in its commitment to Sorogoyen, already consolidated as a Spanish directors to track.
In “El Reino,” the French outfit joins forces with “May God Save Us” producers Tornasol Films, the Spanish company behind Juan José Campanella’s Oscar-winning “The Secret in Their Eyes,” and Atresmedia Cine, the film production arm of broadcaster Atresmedia whose credits include Woody Allen’s “Vicky Christina Barcelona.”
Warner Bros. Pictures España and Latido Films are also re-teaming with Sorogoyen on “El Reino,” after having handled respectively local distribution and international sales rights to “May God Save Us.”
Also boarding “El Reino” is Mondex & Cie, a shingle run by French film and TV executive producer Stephane Sorlat, a specialist in Spanish-language productions, and Guy Amon, who also acquires films from France, the U.K. and Nordic territories for Tele München Group distributor Concorde.
“El Reino” has just gone into production for nine weeks in the Spanish regions of Madrid, Navarre and Valencia, with “May God Save Us” star Antonio de la Torre leading a high-profile Spanish cast alongside José María Pou (“Snow White,” “The Sea Inside”), Bárbara Lennie (“Magical Girl,” “El Niño”), Nacho Fresneda (“The Department of Time”) and Ana Wagener (“Biutiful,” “The Sleeping Voice”).
Co-written by Sorogoyen and regular co-scribe Isabel Peña, “El Reino” is inspired by real-life events.
The film turns on Manuel Gómez Vidal, a Spanish politician much liked in his region, who hides a colleague and friend’s corruption, against his own party principles. To his surprise, when the corruption scandal explodes, the party plots for him to take the rap.
“As in ‘May God Save Us’ we wanted to make a thriller, a movie with a suspense plot that can hook the audience but that talks about human beings and their darkness, their dilemmas in life. In that case, violence was the central theme, in this one, corruption. Not only political but human. Lying as a lifestyle,” Sorogoyen said.
“Rodrigo and I are interested in stories that engage with reality. When a year ago we asked ourselves what to write about, it seemed to us that corruption was clearly the subject to work on as screenwriters and citizens,” Peña added.
Closing the circle of top companies backing Sorogoyen’s new film, broadcaster Atresmedia and Telefonica paybox Movistar + have respectively acquired free-to-air TV and pay TV rights in Spain.