Alatriste: According to Variety, Viggo Mortensen is in negotiations to topline the Spanish period adventure film "Alatriste," in the eponymous role of Captain Alatriste, a Spanish soldier-cum-mercenary embroiled in the country's 16th century imperial wars.Pic is co-produced by Antonio Cardenal's Origen P.C. and Estudios Picasso, the production arm of broadcaster Telecinco, and has been written and will be directed by Agustin Diaz Yanes (No News From God).

Mexican Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries, Bad Education) is in talks to play Alatriste's page Inigo.

Up-and-coming Spanish actress Elena Anaya (Van Helsing) looks likely to have a co-starring role as Angelica de Alquezar, Inigo's love-interest.

The film will be shot in Spanish. Mortensen speaks perfect Spanish, having lived in Argentina for years.

Alatriste is "a beloved character in Spain," Mortensen declared on paybox Canal Plus Espana's cultural magazine "Lo Mas Plus" on Wednesday, confirming he was up for the role. "I'll have to learn how to speak the Spanish of the period," he added.

Brian B.