Antonio Banderas didn’t have to look too far to find his leading lady…
The 52-year-old Spanish actor and director has cast his wife Melanie Griffith in his upcoming film Akil.
Banderas will self-finance the film, his third as a director, which is based on a screenplay he recently completed.
“My country, Spain, is in tremendous financial crisis. It’s very difficult to obtain funds to make a movie. I have conceived Akil so as not to depend on third-party funding,” Banderas told Variety.
The film tells the story of a young African boy who illegally migrates to Spain, evades the authorities and takes refuge in an American woman’s home.
“This is a love story between two completely different people – in age, attitude, religion, wealth – who end up being essential to each other,” said Banderas, who previously directed Griffith in the 1999 comedy-drama Crazy in Alabama.
Banderas also helmed El camino de los ingleses, which premiered in 2006.
He and Griffith became romantically involved after co-starring in Two Much, a 1995 screwball rom-com directed by Fernando Trueba, and they wed a year later.
Shooting dates have yet been set for Akil because Banderas still needs to accommodate this new project into his busy schedule.
Banderas has signed on to play Pablo Picasso in Carlos Saura’s upcoming film 33 Dias and may also take a role in The 33, a film to be directed by Patricia Riggen that tells of a group of Chilean miners who survived for two months underground in 2010 after a cave-in.