The German-UK partners behind zombie video game adaptation Resident Evil are planning to return to Berlin this year to shoot The Rhythm Section, a large-scale thriller that sets a Nikita-style story in the German capital.
The $25m-$30m production is being developed through the long-term production partnership between leading German producer Bernd Eichinger and director-producer team Paul Anderson and Jeremy Bolt. The partners first teamed last year to shoot the $30m-plus Resident Evil in Berlin, bringing one of the biggest European-financed productions of 2001 to the city.
Controversially, The Rhythm Section has a terrorism theme revolving around a teenager who turns to drugs and prostitution after her family is killed in a plane crash. She is tracked down by a journalist who has discovered that the crash was caused by a terrorist attack, and then covered up.
Anderson, best known for Mortal Kombat, may direct, depending on whether his remake of Death Race 2000 comes together with Tom Cruise.
The original book by Mark Burnell was set in London's seedy red light district of Soho, but Kate Wood's script instead moves the story to Berlin. The filmmakers thought that shooting in Berlin would give the film a more contemporary feel, as well help Eichinger's Constantin Film arrange financing.
"Berlin has a chameleon-like identity which fits with her desire to disappear," said Rory Gilmartin, head of development at Anderson and Bolt's production company, Impact Pictures. "Places like Potsdamer Platz are perfect for a European-based thriller."
Another contender for Impact and Constantin's next production is Birdman, a $10m-$15m serial killer story set in the US. The companies aim to shoot both productions both this year.