Up-and-coming Spanish actor Oscar Jaenada has been tapped for the lead in Michael Radford's new Spanish-language feature La Mula.

Jaenada will star alongside Maria Valverde (Melissa P) in the Spanish Civil War-set bittersweet comedy about a soldier who discovers a mule in the middle of a battlefield and decides to keep the animal with him as long as the war lasts.

Radford, fresh from editing his latest film Flawless with Michael Caine and Demi Moore, is in Seville this week working on the La Mula script with Juan Eslava Galan, author of the novel from which the story is adapted.

Radford also plans to scout locations in southern Spain this week in anticipation of an autumn 2007 shoot. The budget currently stands at $12m (Euros 9m.) Bruce St. Clair and Alejandra Frade are producing through Gheko Films. Capricorn Entertainment is handling sales.

Selected to represent Spain as a 'Shooting Star' at the upcoming Berlinale, Jaenada is currently starring in Ventura Pons' Life On The Edge (La Vida Abismal), which premieres in Spain this Friday.

Past credits include as the flamenco legend in Camaron, which earned Jaenada a best actor Goya Award last year, and Manuel Gutierrez Aragon's new Todos Estamos Invitados, now in post-production.