Antonio Banderas in Almodovar's 'Skin'


MADRID -- Antonio Banderas will star in Pedro Almodovar's next film, marking one of the most anticipated film reunions in Spanish cinema more than 20 years after the actor starred in "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down."

"La Piel que Habito" (literally translated: "The Skin I Live In") will shoot this summer over 10 weeks in a studio in Spain and other unannounced locations.

"The film will be a terror film, without screams or scares," Almodovar told the Spanish daily El Pais. "It's difficult to define and although it comes close to the terror genre -- something that appeals to me that I've never done -- I won't respect any of its rules. It's the harshest film I've ever written and Banderas' character is brutal."

Almodovar had not planned to announce the project yet, but Banderas jumped the gun in an interview published in the Russian daily "Kommersant," while attending the first St. Petersburg Film Festival.

"Antonio is impatient," Almodovar told El Pais in an exclusive interview. "And I understand it. He had to push back his return to Broadway to do the film and he also had to reject other important projects. And despite the law of silence we had imposed on him, he couldn't keep quiet any longer."

Almodovar was not available for further comment.

While the rest of the cast is yet to be announced, the director confirmed it will not include his muse of recent years, Penelope Cruz.

"As the story has developed, I don't see her in that role," he said in the interview. "But that's not a problem because I'm going to continue seeing her in other roles. I have a lot of stories I want to shoot. Without going any further, I have four scripts in development in my drawer."

"Skin" narrates a plastic surgeon's revenge on the man who raped his daughter.

Almodovar said he had rewritten the script, based on Thierry Jonquet's novel "Tarantula," nine times.

Before launching his career in Hollywood, Spanish actor Banderas starred in some of Almodovar's most emblematic early works like "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," "The Law of Desire," "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down" and "Matador."

"He's exactly the same as when he left," Almodovar told El Pais, referring to his chemistry with Banderas 20 years after finishing their last film together. "From the minute he walked in, it was as if we had just finished "Tie Me Up" the night before."

Almodovar said he could have continued in the vein of "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down," where Banderas played a marginalized young man crazed by his love for a woman, but has chosen to go a different route.

"I could have continued with a puerile guy with an overpowering power of seduction, but this guy (in "Skin") is a real psychopath and Antonio, at 50, is perfect for this exercise is something so different from anything I've done until now."

A spokeswoman for Almodovar's production company El Deseo said she couldn't give any more details, but that the film is in active preproduction.
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