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Last year Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovàr drew worldwide critical acclaim with his latest melodrama The Skin I Live In. The outrageous filmmaker was heralded for implementing elements of horror to unfold a disturbing yet beautiful story of love and revenge. It was a new terrain for Almodovàr, and he tackled it with aplomb. But for his next featureAmantes Pasajeros—or Standby Lovers as it'll be known Stateside—the taboo-courting writer-director is looking to return to his roots. THR spoke with Almodovàr's brother and producer Agustin Almodovàr, who unveiled some enticing details about the in-development project.
Set to shoot this summer in Madrid, Standby Lovers will be a "pure comedy" in the vein of the films the brothers made in the '80s, like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Already lined up to front the picture are recurring Almodovàr collaborators Lola Duenas (Volver, Broken Embraces), Javier Camara (Talk to Her, Bad Education) and Cecilia Roth (Talk to Her, All About My Mother). They will be joined by popular Spanish comedians Carlos Areces and Raúl Arévalo, who both appeared in the twisted horror-comedy The Last Circus, and Mexican actor Jose Maria Yazpik (The Burning Plain). Together this daring batch of thespians will form what Agustin has deemed a "choral" cast.
Does he mean ensemble or is it implied Standby Lovers will be some sort of musical? At this point, it's hard to say. It's rumored that the bulk of the film will take place on a plane, and the focus will be on the relationships between its passengers. While this unquestionably favors choral meaning ensemble, it doesn't necessarily count out the alternative. Personally, I'm kind of hoping for both. Almodovàr has such an incredible skill for spectacle and theatricality that I'd love to see what he'd do with a musical. But either way, Standby Lovers should prove spectacular.
Almodovar's production company El Deseo has divulged plans to release Standby Lovers in the Spring of 2013 simultaneously in as many territories as possible to reduce incidents of piracy.