Cult American indie filmmaker Abel Ferrara, whose picture Maryis screening in competition at the Venice Film Festival, has announced that hisnext project will either be a prequel to the King Of New York orlong-gestating screwball comedy Go Go Tales.

Speaking in Venice, Ferrara said that he is currentlylooking for financing for both films in Italy. Mary itself is anItalian-French-US co-production.

Producer Frank De Curtis said Christopher Walken iscurrently in talks to star in Go Go Tales, a picture about a Manhattan lap dance club owner and the dancers who workfor him.

Walken will not star however in the King of New Yorkprequel, even though he played the title role in Ferrara's 1990 cult film,about a former drug lord who returns from prison determined to wipe out all hiscompetition and distribute the profits of his operations to New York's poor.

The prequel will be set in the 1970s, a timewhen New York City was on the verge of bankruptcy and crime was rampant. "It'sa really interesting time, when you basically had these street gangs fightingeach other," De Curtis said. "But Walken can't be in it, as it takes place whenthe main character is young," he added.

Abel Ferrara has been living in Rome for the last 18 monthsto drum up financing for Mary and other projects. He says that nowadaysall independent US directors, such as Jim Jarmusch, have to look for fundingoutside the United States.

"All our films arefunded in Italy, Germany, France, the UK, or Japan, so to come and work here inItaly seemed like a logical step. Also, the sensibility we have is European andI feel much better in Europe than in Los Angeles," he said. Still, Ferraraadded: "We always have the Hollywood line open."