Banderas has been partnered up with the Granada-based animation studio Kandor for some years now.
The studio has already produced one Oscar nominee (Javier Recio, director of the short film "La dama y la muerte") and two Goya Award-winning works ("La dama y la muerte" and Manuel Sicilia and Raúl García’s feature "The Missing Lynx").
Now Banderas is keen to promote their latest "Made in Spain" animated movie, "Justin and the Knights of Valour
." The film tells the story of a boy who wants to become a knight in a kingdom dominated by lawyers.
Banderas is in charge of publicizing the film’s Spanish release. While the film has a low budget, it does have a quality director (Manuel Sicilia) and promoter (Banderas) behind it.
"Justin and the Knights of Valour
," originally shot in English, uses the voice talent of actors including Alfred Molina, Rupert Everett, Julie Walters and Saoirse Ronan, as well as Banderas himself. Banderas' voice will also feature alongside that of Inma Cuesta in the Spanish version of the animated film.
Banderas told El País in English
“We are going for the children’s audience, pure and simple, and what’s more, in a classic way, with no Shrek-style pop-culture references. We were looking for a classic tale, with values such as loyalty, honor and effort, in a universe full of strict rules taken to absurd extremes. And a romantic, valiant hero appears... We are sometimes hypocrites as parents, taking our children to see films we want to see ourselves. Justin refuses to play that game and aims straight for the kids,"
“As a producer I don’t enter narrative or creative territory, but I was bowled over by the technical quality, something I know well from my work on Shrek and Puss in Boots. In various parts of the process we created our own software.
"Will I lose money? I might!” he said with a chuckle. “But I see the poster and it brightens up my life — at least we have fought to save some jobs,” he added.
“You have no idea what it cost us to keep the film going. My current job - after four years battling for the financing, to sell it around the world - is to make people aware that this exists, because we don’t have a TV channel behind us."
"I remember when Cameron Díaz and I went to the semifinal - not even the final - of American Idol to do a 30-second interview, which cost $10 million. We repeated “Shrek 4” several times to an audience of 45 million people. How I am going to compete with that?"
"And without a TV channel to bombard viewers with the film, to make you think you are stupid if you don’t see it, I am the one who has to slog it out. I’m going to wage the most honest campaign I can, but I’m going to get the message across that Justin is a Spanish effort, an honest, solid, project, and that in the middle of a terrible crisis we are moving forward and spending money, but more so with the hope, sweat, tears and many hours of work from the animators."
Málaga-born actor Banderas is a busy man, and will be filming "The Expendables 3" with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Sofia at the time "Justin" comes out, which makes life rather hectic.
After "Expendables." he will be playing the only flesh-and-blood character in the animated film "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie."
He also recently appeared in Terrence Malick’s "Knight of Cups" and Robert Rodríguez’s "Machete Kills." Banderas will also star in, and produce, Gabe Ibáñez’s "Autómata", now in post-production and is also in the cast of "The 33," a film telling the true story of the Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days.