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Le Pacte, Film Factory Join Movistar Plus+ Title from ‘Marshland’ Director Alberto Rodríguez (EXCLUSIVE)

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Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte and sales agency Film Factory have joined Spanish pay giant Movistar Plus on the next film from Alberto Rodríguez (“Marshland”), which is shaping up fast with as one of the biggest packages from Spain this year at the Berlinale’s European Film Market.

Le Pacte will co-produce the thriller out of France and handle French distribution rights. Film Factory is launching international sales at Berlin. Movistar Plus, co-producing out of Spain with Kowalski Films and Feelgood Media, will bring the deepest pocket of any production powerhouse in Spain, backing what looks like a potentially big-budgeted movie.

Currently in pre-production, Rodríguez’s latest is scheduled for release in Spanish theaters via Buena Vista Intl. in 2025.

The film is also the latest from one of the most prominent Spanish directors of his generation, co-writer-director of both “The Plague,” still one of Movistar Plus+ biggest series, and “Prison 77,” a big canvas true event jail break movie which became the most-watched movie on Movistar Plus+ in 2023, outgunning Hollywood blockbusters.  

Rodríguez, whose “Marshland” scored 10 Spanish Academy Awards including best picture, has written the screenplay with his longterm co-scribe, Rafael Cobos. 

Best known for his striking visuals, the kinetic energy of his shots, and ability to place his characters in the broader sweep of history, Rodriguez’s latest is set in his native Andalusía.

In setting, tone and focus, the as yet to be titled movie looks closest to Rodriguez’s “Survival,” his acclaimed episode in series “Offworld,” his new movie turning on a man, an industrial diver, who begins to understand that his time has passed. The new feature talks about “the end of the capabilities of an almost amphibious man, who senses he’s not special, nor different, just someone in the crowd,” Rodríguez has said. 

The film is set on the Andalusian coast, near Doñana, one of the largest natural reserves in Europe. It also plumbs the unknown world of industrial diving.

“The new script by Alberto Rodríguez and Rafael Cobos is one of the best I’ve read in recent years,” said Labadie. “Le Pacte is very happy and proud to team again with the director of ‘Marshland.’”

“We are excited to be part of a new project by Alberto Rodríguez again after the great reception and recognition of ‘Marshland,’ ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ and recently ‘Prison 77.’ Without a doubt, it is going to be one of the great titles of Spanish cinema in 2025,” said Vicente Canales, CEO of sales agency Film Factory.

Rodríguez’s next is produced by Domingo Corral, Fran Araújo, Manuela Ocón, Guillermo Farré, Koldo Zuazua, Juan Moreno and Jean Labadie.

The feature forms part of a five-pic first slate at Movistar Plus+ which it announced in January, taking in titles by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Iciar Bollaín, Alberto Rodríguez, Óliver Laxe and Ana Rujas.

Earlier this month, at a showcase of 2024 titles, Netflix Spain unveiled a new feature, a modern movie makeover of way-before-its-time Spanish classic “My Dearest Señorita,” nominated for a 1973 Academy Award, produced by Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo. 

Ambrossi and Calvo said they would soon be announcing a full movie slate from their production house, Suma Content. Other major Spanish production houses look set to drive into feature film production. 

Reason abound for the feature film drive. It allows major platforms to retain its talent. Rodríguez has insisted, for example, that he remains a filmmaker at heart.

Spanish movies can also prove significantly popular. Rodríguez’s “Prison 77,” for example, became the most-watched movie on Movistar Plus+ in 2023, outgunning Hollywood blockbusters, Domingo Corral, Movistar Plus+ director of fiction and entertainment content, noted at its first full movie slate presentation. 

Four of the five most-watched non-English films ever on Netflix are from Spain, led now by “Society of the Snow.”  

Also, “it is very difficult for producers to finance premium films with a higher budget, scale and ambition. Platforms such as Movistar+ can play an important role in making these higher-budget films such as ’Prison 77’ possible and viable,” Corral argued when “Prison 77” world premiered at the San Sebastian Festival in 2022. 

Rodríguez’s next looks set to share that higher budget, scale and ambition.