The New Zealand Film Commission and Film Fund are backing Jonathan King's recently announced Under the Mountain.

Capitol Films and NZ On Air are also behind the project. As previously reported, Capitol sister company THINKFilm will launch the project to buyers (excluding Australia and New Zealand) at the forthcoming AFM.

The producers will be Jonathan King and Matthew Grainger of Index Films Limited and Richard Fletcher of Liberty Films Limited in Wellington. Chris Hampson, Chris Bailey and Trevor Haysom will be executive producers.

'I want to deliver a scary and exciting adventure for teenage audiences,' King said of his plans to adapt Maurice Gibb's bestseller. 'The story will contrast its contemporary Auckland city setting with a fantastic subterranean world beneath.'

The project shoots in Auckland in 2008.