Love and intrigue lie at the heart of the new Woody Allen film which the veteran US director has begun shooting with a star-studded cast, Catalan newspaper El Periodico reported Saturday.
According to the paper, the plot, which Allen, 71, has kept carefully under wraps to date, involves a tryst between a painter, his ex-fiancÃ©e and two American tourists.
Allen has said only that the new flick will be a “love letter to Barcelona,” adding that filming in Spain — aside from Barcelona some scenes will also be shot in the northern region of Asturias — will be “a dream come true.”
El Periodico says it has learned the movie will be a “romantic and touristic comedy” based on the two US women who come to Barcelona to learn Catalan culinary secrets as well as on a seductive artist and his jealous ex, played by Spanish star Penelope Cruz.
According to the journal, Spanish actor Javier Bardem will play the artist and US starlets Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall have been cast in the roles of the tourists.
As well as keeping mum on the plot details Allen has not been forthcoming on the title, although El Periodico suggested the provisional title was “Wasp 2007,” standing for “Woody Allen Spanish Project 2007″.
The paper said it had information the script had undergone certain modifications at the suggestion of some of Allen’s colleagues in order to make it “closer to the current reality” of life in the region of Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital.
Bardem was, for example, originally to have played a bullfighter, rather than an artist.
Although Barcelona does host bullfighting contests, there is widespread opposition to the pastime locally and city authorities threatened three years ago to abolish the tradition.
Security guards last Monday had to hold back curious sunbathers as Johansson and Hall joined Bardem and Cruz to begin shooting on a beach just outside the city centre.