Multi-award winning Spanish writer-director Daniel Monzón has revealed further details of his new projects to follow his hit Cell 211.
Monzón has also confirmed that he will not be involved in the forthcoming Paul Haggis English-language remake of prison riot story Cell 211. (The original was winner of eight Goya awards including Best Picture and Best Director and has sold all around the world.)
Likely to be Monzón’s next directorial assignment is Spanish adventure-thriller The Kid (El Niño), about the misadventures of a young drug dealer and trafficker in Gibraltar. Telecinco is producing, and Monzón has also confirmed that independent Spanish production outfit Ikiru Films will partner on the project. French backers are also set to board the film, which will be in the €7 million range (a considerable hike up on the €3 million budget for Cell 211.)
As with Cell 211, Monzón and his fellow Cell 211 writer Jorge Guerricaechevarría researched the project extensively, visiting Gibraltar and interviewing police officers and delinquents. He describes the island as “a place of brutal contrasts” in which rich and poor nestle together.
Meanwhile, Monzón and Guerricaechevarría have completed an original English-language screenplay called Murder Weekend, which promises to be far lighter in tone than Cell 211. It’s a comedy-thriller about a group of struggling actors who make ends meet by participating in staged “murder weekends” for crime enthusiasts. The hitch comes when they have to deal with a real corpse. The film is being set up as a coproduction between Spain, the UK and the US. As already announced, Spanish outfit Tornasol is producing. Details of the other partners are expected to be announced shortly. Monzón is hoping to assemble a top-notch British ensemble cast.
The Spanish director said that he took it as “a compliment” that Paul Haggis (“a writer and director I really admire”) wanted to remake Cell 211. He confirmed that various US outfits had previously approached him to remake the movie himself but that he wasn’t interested. “I had done it before. What is the point in repeating what you have done?”
Cell 211 is released in the UK by Optimum Releasing on July 15.