Mexican directors, Universal in pact
The respected trio plans five modestly budgeted films, some in Spanish. Studio hails ‘diversity.’
Three prominent Mexican directors who had been shopping themselves to Hollywood studios as a team are forming a partnership with Universal Pictures.
Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will call their production label Cha Cha Cha. The deal will allow the trio the kind of creative control and ownership few filmmakers enjoy.
Universal was viewed as the front-runner to make the deal, which was announced Friday during France’s Cannes Film Festival.
Although the total cost of the five-movie package could be as high as $100 million, the individual films are budgeted at a modest $10 million to $40 million. Some of the movies will be in Spanish.
Universal will finance the movies in part through its foreign sales division, Focus Features International. Universal Pictures International will distribute the movies in some territories abroad. A U.S. and Canadian distributor has not been named.
“These filmmakers truly represent the importance of cultural diversity for the global audience,” said David Linde, co-chairman of Universal Pictures.
Not all of the films will be from the directors behind such acclaimed films as Del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” Cuaron’s “Children of Men” and Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Babel,” a best picture Oscar nominee.
Also involved is Alfonso Cuaron’s younger brother, Carlos, cowriter of the independent hit “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” whose planned soccer drama “Rudo y Cursi” is in preproduction. The other director is Rodrigo Garcia, who made Sony Pictures’ upcoming drama “Passengers” and directed episodes of the cable TV shows “Six Feet Under” and “Big Love.”