Juan Antonio Bayona, who made his directing debut with the Spanish language pic The Orphanage, has signed with CAA. He’d been repped by WME. Bayona starts production today on his first English language film, The Impossible, a drama that stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. It’s based on a true story set in Thailand during the devastating 2004 tsunami. Sergio G. Sanchez wrote the script, which was set up as a co-production between Apaches Entertainment and Telecino Cinema, with Summit Entertainment distributing in the U.S. The depiction of a tsunami is a major plot point in Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter, and it was a visually stunning sequence. New Line, by the way, is developing a remake of Bayona’s The Orphanage.
UTA has signed Spanish screenwriter Sergio Sanchez and Argentinian writer/director Juan Diego Solanas. Sanchez, who had been repped by WME, wrote the sleeper hit The Orphanage and re-teamed with the film’s director, Juan Antonio Bayona, on The Impossible, the Summit/Telecino-backed tsunami film that stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Sanchez is writing a script that he plans to direct next year.
Solanas met several agencies after completing postproduction on Upside Down, the scifi fantasy financed by France’s Studio 37. Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst star in a Romeo and Juliet-like romance in which a young man falls desperately in love with a girl. The problem: They live in two separate worlds that exist, one on top of the other. It is the first English language film for Solanas, who got on the map when his short film, The Man Without a Head, won a Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize.