Antonio Banderas has confirmed that he will direct his nextfilm in 2006 - in his native Spain.

The actor told a Madrid press conference that he had boughtthe rights to Antonio Soler's novel El Camino De Los Ingleses and he would go behind the lens to shoot it at homein Spain.

"Antonio Soler, from whom I have officially bought therights, will write the screenplay," said Banderas. "I want it to bea Spanish production, or even better, an Andalucian one."

Banderas was born and grew up in Andalucia's capitalof Malaga and maintains a home in Marbella. Soler, 48, has just won theprestigious Nadal Prize in Spain this year for this coming-of-age story about agroup of young boys during their last summer of childhood.

"I want to shoot it in Spain with a group of young,unknown actors," he added.

It will be Banderas' second time directing after CrazyIn Alabama, which starred his wife, MelanieGriffiths.

Malaga is honouring its favourite son (after Picasso, ofcourse) on July 9 when the popular actor will receive the Spanish FilmAcademy's Gold Medal in a formal gala to be televised live on TVE,accompanied by his family and friends.

One of those is famously Pedro Almodovar. Regarding theirlong-gestating sci-fi project with Penelope Cruz, Tarantula, Banderas said: "I came to an agreement withPedro two years ago to do the part, but since then I've only had shortconversations about it and he hasn't said anything specific to me.I'd love to work with him, but I'm not obsessed about it. If hecalls me, he knows he has me."