Since his mop-headed, Best Supporting Actor winning performance in No Country For Old Men, Javier Bardem has been slow to get back to work. We’ve seen him only in the plague boil Love in the Time of Cholera and Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Bardem has turned down and/or walked away from multiple projects, which might still be a sore subject for Killing Pablo‘s Joe Carnahan. Never the most outgoing actor on the scene, Bardem has cultivated a professionally aloof persona strong enough to battle Daniel Day Lewis in the Thunderdome of disinterest.

But Alejandro González Iñárritu is persuasive, and has arranged for Bardem to star in Biutiful, which begins shooting in Barcelona next week. For anyone who follows Iñárritu, this film should stand as a tipping point. It’s his first since splitting with his former creative parner, screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga. The two created Amores Perros, 21 Grams and together before their breakup. (Which, naturally, focused on which of the two deserved proper creative credit for Babel.) 

Iñárritu wrote Biutful, which is concerned with “a man embroiled in shady dealings who is confronted by a childhood friend, now a policeman.” The film will be Iñárritu’s first credit as sole writer.