Fernando Meirelles'City of God was so phenomenal that when the director's follow-up, The Constant Gardener, was released, I hated it simply because it just didn't compare. Well, I've since gotten over my initial disappointment with Gardener and have even developed a love for it -- still not as big as my love for City of God, however -- and so I continue to look forward to whatever Meirelles gives us in the future. Turns out, he may be giving us more than we could have imagined, thanks to a new three-year, five-picture deal with Universal/Focus. The deal isn't for films that Meirelles will direct himself, but is instead for the development of films by young Brazilian filmmakers.
This is incredible news considering most of the time Hollywood wants to remake foreign films, not produce them. Sure indie divisions like Universal's Focus Features pick them up for distribution, and Brazil is often represented in America thanks to the great actress Fernanda Monenegro, but in my opinion, we can never have too many foreign films released in this country. The one Brazilian film that Meirelles produced before this deal, Contra Todos, wasn't given a proper release in the States, which is too bad, because I'd bet it's far better than that awful film that won the best foreign language Oscar this year.