Does the world need another movie about a comic book hero? How about one that's described as "a romantic comedy about the end of the world"? In Santos, an upcoming film from writer/director Nicolás López, the title character is a "failed comic book artist [who] lives in a parallel universe where he's a superhero who has to save the world." I grant you, the premise doesn't sound terribly original -- it may even make you groan -- but comedies are all about the execution, and some of the actors involved give me reason for optimism. Leonardo Sbaraglia made sharp dramatic turns in both Intacto (directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo of 28 Weeks Later fame) and The Whore and the Whale; I'd love to see what he does in a comedy. Guillermo Toledo brought true inspired lunacy to his lead role in Alex de la Iglesia's Ferpect Crime. And Elsa Pataky is simply beautiful, which may be sexist but is always a bonus for a romantic comedy.

According to the official web site, director López is just 24 years of age, yet has been making films for half his life. The IMDb bio says that his influences include Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith. He was heavily involved with the comedy series Piloto MTV, which aired on MTV Latin America. His first film, Below Average, was a big hit in Chile and screened at South by Southwest and the Los Angeles Film Festival, though Variety savaged it as a "tiresome" regurgitation of American movies. The trailer for Santos looks stylish and cool, setting up an apocalyptic mood before tossing stock comic book hero images into the mix. Who knows if López actually has the chops to pull this off, and if the appeal will translate beyond his homeland, but I'm keeping my nerd-loving foreign language-biased fingers crossed. Santos is set to fly into Chilean theaters in November 2007.

[Via Jaman Message Boards]