Bardem looks 'Biutiful' to Gonzalez Inarritu


MADRID -- Oscar winner Javier Bardem will star in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Biutiful," set to start shooting next week in Barcelona, Mod Producciones announced Thursday.

The film is Gonzalez Inarritu's first project without his regular scriptwriter, Guillermo Arriaga. The director wrote the Spanish-language "Biutiful" script with Armando Bo and Nicolas Giacobone.

Arriaga and Gonzalez Inarritu made waves with their first hit, "Amores Perros," in 2000 and then followed up with English-language hits "21 Grams" and "Babel" to form a much-acclaimed trilogy.

Bardem, hot off Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," in which he starred opposite Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johannsson, will play a man searching for balance and his children's safety after a broken love affair.

The co-production between maverick Spanish producer Fernando Bovaira's Mod and Mexico's Menageatroz -- which groups Gonzalez Inarritu with fellow Mexican helmers Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro -- will shoot for 13 weeks in Spain.

Production company credits announced belong to the threesome's Menageatroz, but Gonzalez Inarritu, Cuaron and Del Toro's three-way partnership $100 million Cha Cha Cha has a five-feature production partnership with financing, distribution and international sales handled by Universal Pictures and Focus Features Intl.

Gonzalez Inarritu will use his regular crew, including cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, production designer Birgitte Broch, composer Gustavo Santaolallaand editor Stephen Mirrione.