Variações biopic enters pre-production
by Vitor Pinto
Legal proceedings have ended between director João Maia and production company Utopia Filmes, so pre-production can finally move forward on the biopic about Antonio Variações (pictured), one of the biggest icons of Portuguese pop music of the 1980s.
For the project’s genesis, we have to go back to 2003, when Maia and former journalist Catarina Portas began a long process of research on the life of the hairdresser who became one of the most influential Portuguese musicians of his generation. In 2008 the screenplay was registered in the General Register of Cultural Activities and in 2009, before shooting started, a contractual dispute broke out between the filmmaker, who is the rights holder, and producer Alexandre Valente.
Maia then asked as a precautionary measure that the project be stopped and it remained blocked until the judge announced the verdict, two years later, preventing the production company from changing, directly or indirectly, the work that the director had registered.
Hailed as a “realistic musical”, the screenplay to Variações opens with a trip by the singer to New York, which is followed by a flashback depicting his childhood, and it ends two weeks before his death, in June 1984.
34-year-old actor Sérgio Praia will take up the challenge of playing Variações, lending not only his body to the character but also his own voice in some of the songs.
Variações still doesn’t have a date for the official start of shooting. It will be the first feature by Maia, whose 1996 short film O Prego was selected at several festivals, including Cannes, Toronto and Clermont-Ferrand.
(Translated from Spanish)
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