First look at Julio Peña as Cervantes in Alejandro Amenábar’s new film, which begins filming

First look at Julio Peña as Cervantes in Alejandro Amenábar’s new film, which begins filming
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Alejandro Amenábar returns to the past to recreate an episode in the history of Spain through cinema. Five years after his last film, ‘While the war lasts’, and with the miniseries ‘La Fortuna’ in the middle, he returns to the big screen with the direction of ‘El captivo’, drama set in the 16th century that will focus on the figure of Miguel de Cervantes.

Buena Vista Internacional has announced the start of filming in Santa Pola (Alicante) with a first image (above) in which we can see Amenábar with the actor who plays Cervantes as a young man, Julio Peñapopular performer known above all for the Netflix romantic saga ‘Through my window’ and the series ‘Berlín’, spin-off of ‘La casa de papel’.

Although the official announcement was made on April 30 as a public presentation of the project, Filming was already underway, taking place throughout the month of April at the Castillo Fortaleza de Santa Pola , among other locations. In May, the team will move to Alicante to continue filming at the Castillo de Santa Bárbara and the Ciudad de la Luz studios, then continue in the province of Valencia and finish in Seville in mid-June.

‘The Captive’ has script by Amenábar himself and in addition to Peña, it stars Alessandro Borghi, Miguel Rellán, Fernando Tejero, José Manuel Poga, Luis Callejo, Roberto Álamo, Albert Salazar, César Sarachu and the debutante Luna Berroa, among others.

The film follows Cervantes during his captivity in Algiers, narrating the experiences and adventures that would later shape the famous work that made him one of the greatest representatives of Spanish literature. The official synopsis of the film reads like this:

Year 1575. The young Miguel de Cervantes, wounded in naval combat, is captured on the high seas by Algerian corsairs during his return to Spain.


Miguel, aware that a cruel death awaits him in Algiers if his ransom is not paid soon, discovers an unexpected refuge in his passion for telling stories. His fascinating stories restore hope to his fellow prisoners and end up attracting the attention of Hasan, the mysterious and feared Pasha of Algiers, with whom he begins to develop a strange affinity.

While conflicts grow among his companions, Miguel, carried away by his unwavering optimism, will begin to devise a risky escape plan.

‘El captivo’ is a Spanish-Italian co-production directed by MOD and Himenóptero, together with Misent Producciones and Propaganda Italia. It also has the participation of NetflixRTVE and RAI Cinema and the support of ICAA-Ministry of Culture, the Generalitat Valenciana and Eurimages. The film will hit theaters in 2025 from the hand of Buena Vista International.

In the words of the director

With ‘The Captive’, Amenábar intends to play with contrasts to create a human portrait of Cervantes beyond the myth. According to the filmmaker, the film will capture “from the dark in which Miguel de Cervantes lived, to the power of his stories, his epic escape attempts, the harsh conditions of captivity, the cruelty of his captors, paradise and the exuberance of the hamam or the joy of the streets of Algiers”.

For Amenábar, it was all these experiences that conditioned his humanism and the complexity of his work: “It is known that he was already writing at that time, and one of his stories in ‘Don Quixote’, precisely titled ‘The Captive’, contains numerous references autobiographical,” he adds. Miguel de Cervantes left a great story untold: his. It’s time we meet her“.



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