Starz Developing “Havana Quartet” Series Starring Banderas

Antonio Banderas may soon be Havana good time on television.

Starz is developing a series set to star the 54-year-old Spanish actor, according to the network’s CEO Chris Albrecht.

Antonio Banderas

Banderas will also serve as an executive producer on the series.

Havana Quartet, based on the popular book series by Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura, follows a hard-drinking, romantic Cuban Police Detective Mario Conde (Banderas) who longs to be a writer but settled for a job as a detective.

Eduardo Machado will write the pilot.

Being developed from Entertainment One Television’s Havana Quartet, eOne will produce the series and distribute the hour-long drama worldwide.

“Starz continues to see great opportunity in continued programming diversification with many communities and genres,” said Albrecht. “Partnering with eOne to develop the drama series Havana Quartet with international star Antonio Banderas will allow us to give viewers a premium show that highlights the decaying beauty of Cuba during its ‘Special Period’ — a time and place which tourists rarely got to experience.”

Pancho Mansfield, president of global scripted programming of eOne Television, commented, “Havana Quartet is a series that captures both the romance and the underbelly of a country that has struck our collective curiosity and imagination for decades, and it was important for us to create a show that is authentic to Padura’s elegant, noir-tinged novels and to Cuba itself. We are delighted to partner with Starz and to have assembled such an exceptional team of talent to bring this special project to life.”

del Toro Unveils Directorial Debut Film in Cuba…

Should Benicio del Toro decide to stop acting, he could easily transition to a life behind the camera.

During the screening of the 44-year-old Puerto Rican actor’s directorial debut in the movie “Seven Days in Havana,” del Toro said the labor of love that went into his labor of love was so gratifying he plans to keep working behind the camera.

Benicio del Toro Directorial Debut

“To see the motivation of all the artists, working 14 hours a day, to see the confidence they had in me, the collaboration between everything, is something very special,” said del Toro at a news conference in Havana, where “Seven Days” screened at the city’s annual film festival.

“It’s an experience that motivates me to dream of trying it again,” said del Toro, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in “Traffic.”

“Seven Days,” a French-Spanish production made up of seven shorts, is based on stories by Cuban writer Leonardo Padura that take place on different days of the week and show different visions of Cuban society.

Del Toro directed the first segment: “The Yuma,” Cuban slang for “The American,” about a young American who travels to Havana for the film festival.

“The theme of the short is to show how people can retain their dignity” says del Toro. “It’s something very human.”

Josh Hutcherson, who appears in the title role in “The Yuma,” said del Toro yelled quite a bit but was a genius director he’d love to work with again.