El Deseo, the Almodovar brothers' Madrid-based production company, and Explora Films have started production on a $1.34m (Euros 1m) docudrama about the discovery and excavation of the ancient tomb of the Lord de Sipán in northern Peru.

A spokeswoman for El Deseo called the tomb, remarkably intact after 1,700 years, 'the most important archeological find of the 20th century, comparable to Tutankamon.'

The Spanish production companies will help pay for excavation of the tomb and sacred necropolis, which is expected to yield additional discoveries from the pre-Inca civilization. They have been granted exclusive filming rights, El Deseo said.

The docudrama will focus on the excavations led by archaelogist Walter Alva, who discovered the tomb 20 years ago, and will include re-enactments of life in Sipán village with 300 extras. Elaborate sets already under construction, including a pyramid, the Lord's palace and a typical home. Wardrobes will include replicas of ancient jewels and sacred ornaments.

'The story of the discovery of the 'Lord of Sipán' includes plundering, death and intrigue, events as action-packed and cinematographic as an adventure film,' El Deseo's Deborah Palomo said in a statement.