Universal embraces Almodovar film

'Broken Embraces' in co-financing deal with the studio

LONDON -- Pedro Almodovar's "Los Abrazos Rotos" (Broken Embraces) has fallen into the arms of Universal, with the studio stumping up with a co-financing deal for Agustin and Pedro Almodovar's production banner El Deseo on the picture.

Focus Features International will handle worldwide sales outside Spain, France, the U.K., Benelux and Switzerland, the studio arm said. Spanish rights to the film are retained by El Deseo.

Universal Pictures co-chairman David Linde and Agustin Almodovar of El Deseo said Thursday that Universal’s International Studio will co-finance Almodovar’s next directorial outing with star Penelope Cruz.

Shooting is scheduled to begin at the end of May on location in Madrid and the Canary Islands.

The Universal/El Deseo/FFI deal continues FFI’s long-standing relationship with El Deseo. FFI previously handled sales on Pedro Almodovar titles including "Bad Education" and "Volver."

"Because of their understanding of our way of working, we have decided to deepen our collaboration with David Linde, Universal and Focus so Focus keeps on handling the international sales and Universal becomes our financial partner," Agustin Almodovar said.

Universal's International Studio president, Christian Grass, said the deal with El Deseo "represents the depth of what our international studio has to offer."

No financial details were disclosed.