Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘The Standby Lovers’ Will Team Spanish Actors Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz For the First Time Ever

Anyone who saw last year’s surgical horror story, The Skin I Live In, knows that director Pedro Almodóvar can pull a first-rate performance out of Antonio Banderas, which makes sense, seeing as they’ve been working together for over 20 years. And anyone who has seen Almodóvar’s starring vehicles for Penélope Cruz, like Volver or Broken Embraces, can give similar compliments to his relationship with that actress. Almodóvar is a filmmaker who knows how to get the best out of the people he’s working with. But what he’s never been able to do is direct Banderas and Cruz together in the same movie. As a matter of fact, even though they’re maybe the two most famous Spanish actors of the last two decades, up until this point nobody has been able to get them both to appear in the same film.

That’s all set to change come Almodóvar’s latest project, however. His new film is a comedy called The Standby Lovers that’s about a plane full of people who reveal their most guarded secrets to one another when the aircraft starts to go down. In addition to Banderas and Cruz (whose official involvement we reported on yesterday), the film is also said to include an all-star cast of Spanish actors including Javier Cámara, Guillermo Toledo, Raúl Arévalo, Hugo Silva, Cecilia Roth, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Blanca Suárez, José María Yazik and Antonio de la Torre. That’s a lot of Spanish-sounding names.

Banderas and Cruz are confirmed as appearing in a scene together, the shooting of which is scheduled to take place all in one day. It would appear that this project brings the careers of all those involved full circle. Probably, after this, there’s no need for anymore movies to come out of Spain ever again.

Or, since that would be awful, let’s just hope that this is the first of many collaborations between all of these talented people. [ScreenDaily]

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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