Universal and Focus jump in on Almodovar's 'Embraces'


Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces" has fallen into the arms of Universal, with the studio coming aboard the film in a co-financing deal with Agustin and Pedro Almodovar's production banner El Deseo.

Focus Features will handle worldwide sales outside Spain, France, the U.K., Benelux and Switzerland; Spanish rights are retained by El Deseo.

Universal Pictures co-chairman David Linde and Agustin Almodovar said Thursday that Universal 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/ Focus deal continues Focus' long-standing relationship with El Deseo. The specialty arm handled sales on such Almodovar titles as "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 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. (partialdiff)