Antonio Banderas to direct wife Melanie Griffith in Akil

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 08, 2013 05:34 hrs

Spanish actor and director Antonio Banderas has cast his wife Melanie Griffith in a starring role in his upcoming film Akil, which tells of the relationship between a American woman and an African migrant who reaches Spain in a small boat, Variety magazine reported.

Banderas will self-finance the film, which is his third as a director and based on a screenplay he recently completed, and also produce it via his Green Moon company.

"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," Banderas, who previously directed Griffith in the 1999 comedy-drama Crazy in Alabama, said.

The Spaniard also helmed El camino de los ingleses (Summer Rain), which premiered in 2006.

He and Griffith became romantically involved after co-starring in Two Much, a 1995 screwball romcom directed by Fernando Trueba, and they got married a year later.

Shoot dates have not been set for Akil because Banderas needs to accommodate this new project into his schedule.

Banderas also has signed on to play Pablo Picasso in Carlos Saura's upcoming film 33 Dias (33 Days) 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.

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