While thesteady flow of German private equity into Stateside projects may now be a thingof the past, the German film industry's growing presence as a serious player onthe international stage will nevertheless be given a boost this summer byConstantin Film's busy production schedule.
Constantinsaw shooting crank up in China at the beginning of May on Hong Kong actionexpert Cory Yuen's Dead Of Alive (aka DOA) based on Tecmo's bestselling videogamefranchise of the same name and described as "Charlie's Angels meets enter TheDragon".Produced by Jeremy Bolt and Paul W.S. Anderson of Constantin's subsidiaryImpact Pictures with Mark Altmin of Mindfire Entertainment and Bernd Eichingerof Constantin Film, the teen actioner has a cast including Sin City's DevonAoki,Final Destination's Sarah Carter and Black Hawk Down's Matthew Marsden and hot newcomer HollyValance.
DOA continuesImpact/Constantin's close association with the videogame world which began withAnderson's rendering of the Capcom game Resident Evil which was largely shoton location and in studios at Berlin in 2001. Last year saw the release of thehotly anticipated follow-up Resident Evil: Apocalypse which went on tooutperform the original at the box office.
Constantinhas also committed to finance and co-produce Chris Applebaum's Water's Edge with Out Of The BlueEntertainment and in association with the UK's Gruber Brothers. Thehorror thriller, which marks Applebaum's feature directorial debut aftershooting music videos for the likes of Hilary Duff, Britney Spears and KidRock, will star The Fast And The Furious' Jordana Brewster and is scheduled tostart shooting on location in Lake Powell, Arizona, and Los Angeles fromSeptember.
Beforethat, though, Eichinger will see principal photography commencing on one of hismost cherished and long anticipated projects: Perfume. The screen adaptationof personal friend Patrick Sueskind's allegedly unfilmable bestselling novel Perfume:The Story Of A Murderer has been structured as a European co-production inpartnership with the Swiss businesswoman Gigo Oeri and joins Eichinger's longlist of lavish literary adaptations such as The Name Of The Rose, The HouseOf The Spirits, and Smilla's Sense Of Snow.
Thechallenge of creating a screenplay out of Sueskind's prose was taken by theproducer himself along with "regular" collaborator Andrew Birkin (TheName Of The Rose, The Cement Garden) and the film's director Tom Tykwer who will bemaking his first feature since the Italian-set Heaven.
Shooting isscheduled to start in July at locations in Spain and France and on sound stagesin Munich's Bavaria Film Studios, with a worldwide theatrical release -DreamWorks SKG has the film for North America - planned for the autumn of 2006.
However,Constantin isn't the only German production outfit handling large-scaleinternational projects this summer. For example, Berlin's Egoli Tossell Film isone of the partners on Paul Verhoeven's Second World War drama Black Book which will shoot at theBabelsberg studios at the end of the summer after location work in theNetherlands. Meanwhile, X-Filme creative pool, producers of Tykwer's RunLola Runand Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin!, has boarded Sergei Bodrov's $ 10mhistorical epic Mongol - The Early Years Of Genghis Khan which will startshooting at original locations in the Far East from July.
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