Spanish mini-studio Filmax has acquired the rights toSpanish novel The Brotherhood Of The Holy Shroud as part of a new push to adapt local best-sellers as English-languagefeature films for the international market.

According to Filmax chief Julio Fernandez, the project willbe developed next year to follow in the vein of its other high-budget (bySpanish standards), English-language films featuring international talents suchas Brad Anderson's The Machinistor Jaume Balaguero's Fragilestarring Calista Flockhart, now in post-production.

La Hermandad De La Sabana Santa by first-time author Julia Navarro has sold morethan 450,000 copies in Spain and Latin America in the eight months since itspublication, and rights for translations have sold in at least ten countriesincluding to Germany's Bertelsmann.

The adventure tale turns on a series of mysterious incidentsin the Turin Cathedral which leads investigators into a complex plot stretchingall the way back to the Middle Ages.

The acquisition of the book marks a new production focus forFilmax, best known for its Fantastic Factory label. Fernandez confirms he iscurrently negotiating rights on another novel as well. Despite the namesimilarities, Brotherhood has nothing todo with Holy Shroud: The Crusader(formerly Captain Thunder), alsoin development at Filmax.

Meanwhile the Barcelona-based company starts shooting thisweek on Brian Yuzna's new Beneath Still Waters and is in pre-production on Daniel Monzon'sMajorca-set mystery The Kovak Box basedon a script by habitual Alex de la Iglesia co-writer Jorge Guerricaechevarria.