Pedro Almodóvar’s first English-language feature film, “The Room Next Door,” has landed at the Spanish filmmaker’s usual North American home: Sony Pictures Classics.
The distributor has acquired all rights in North America, the Middle East, India, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand for the upcoming film starring Julianne Moore, Tilda Swinton, and John Turturro. Produced by Almodóvar’s El Deseo, “The Room Next Door” will begin shooting this March in New York and Madrid.
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Almodóvar’s relationship with Sony Pictures Classics deepens with the announcement, following the releases of Oscar-nominated “Parallel Mothers” and short films “The Human Voice” and “Strange Way of Life,” among his other features. Both shorts were in English, with “The Human Voice” also starring “The Room Next Door” actress Swinton.
“‘The Room Next Door’ is about a very imperfect mother and her resentful daughter, who live separate lives because of a profound misunderstanding,” Almodóvar said in a press statement.
Swinton stars as Martha, the mother character, who is a war correspondent. Actress Moore portrays Ingrid, an auto-fiction novelist and friend of Martha. Ingrid becomes “the custodian to mother and daughter’s pain and bitterness,” according to Almodóvar.
“The film talks about the unlimited cruelty of wars, the two different ways these two writers have of approaching and writing about reality, also about death, and how friendship and sexual pleasure can be the best allies to deal with horror,” Almodóvar said. “It also talks about the pleasure of waking up to birds bringing a new day at a house built on a natural reserve in New England, where the two friends live an extraordinary and awkwardly sweet situation.”
Moore recently starred in Oscar-nominated “May December.” Swinton appears in the upcoming A24 film “Problemista.”
Both Moore and Swinton have starred in several other Sony Pictures Classics films over the years, with Swinton leading “Orlando,” “Only Lovers Left Alive,” and “Young Adam.” Moore won an Oscar for her turn in Sony Pictures Classics’ “Still Alice.”
Almodóvar’s recent short film “Strange Way of Life” was backed by the brand Saint Laurent and distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. The short starred Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal as queer cowboys, with Almodóvar drawing on his scrapped plans to direct “Brokeback Mountain” 20 years ago. The short debuted at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and opened in U.S. theaters in October 2023 as part of a double bill with his 2020 short “The Human Voice.”
Almodóvar had planned to make “A Manual for Cleaning Women” his English-language feature debut, but he set that adaptation of a Lucia Berlin story collection, meant to star Cate Blanchett, aside in 2022.
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