British director Duncan Jones is gearing up for a $25 million UK-German co-production. Jones describes the sci-fi Mute as a “thriller-mystery”. It will be set in Berlin at a variety of locations, including at Studio Babelsberg.

Speaking to about the budget, Jones said: “it will definitely be bigger than Moon, probably something up to $25 million.” While he didn’t want to give too much away, he did say: “Moon is about alienation and isolation. The next one will have a different vibe. It’s not about one actor on their own, it’s an ensemble piece.” 

Jones will team up with producer Fenegan of London based Liberty Films. Fenegan, who produced Jones’ debut feature Moon, said “Mute is about a woman whose disappearance causes a mystery for her partner, a mute bartender. When she disappears, he has to go up against the city’s gangsters.” Shooting of Mute is expected to start early next year.

Jones and Fenegan will be hoping to replicate the success of Moon, which stars Sam Rockwell as a man isolated on the moon. The film scooped the Michael Powell Award for the Best New British Feature at the closing ceremony of the Edinburgh International Film Festival last night.

Fenegan said “We’re incredibly pleased to have won the Michael Powell award. I’m hoping that it is the first step of recognition for the industry of what we’ve done and what we do next. I hope it highlights an interest in us.”

Speaking of the Edinburgh audience reaction to Moon, Jones said “It was fantastic, our first screening was back in the UK. We have been to a lot of festivals in the US and we hadn’t had the chance to do anything in the homeland. It’s been an interesting summer for science fiction.”