Myriad Pictures is to fully finance and handle worldwide rights on Imagining Argentina, a film based on the Lawrence Thornton novel which is set to star Antonio Banderas and Emma Thompson.

Myriad is in discussions with Spanish and UK co-production partners on the project which will be shot in Spain in 2002. Christopher Hampton, the Oscar-winning screenwriter whose directing credits include Carrington starring Thompson and The Secret Agent, will direct and has written the script.

The film is set during the military junta regime in Argentina in the 1970s. Banderas will play the director of a children's theatre whose wife is abducted and who subsequently discovers that he has the power to envision what has happened to the disappeared.

Producers on the film are Geoffrey Lands, Michael Peyser and Diane Sillen of Banderas' Green Moon Productions. Myriad's Philip Von Alvensleben, Kirk D'Amico and Lucas Foster are the executive producers.

The project has been knocking around Hollywood for some years now. At one time, Richard Gere was planning to produce and star, then Kenneth Branagh and Annette Bening for Interscope Productions and Spelling Films under director Leslie Linka Glatter. Later Oliver Parker was hired to direct with Andy Garcia and Salma Hayek attached to star.