Principal photography is currently underway on Blast, one of the biggest action features to be shot in South Africa's Cape Town to date.
The film - described as Die Hard on an oil rig - also marks the first time, anywhere in the world, that an oil company has granted permission for filmmakers to shoot aboard a working oil rig.
The IWP (International West Pictures) and Gemini Film feature stars Eddie Griffin, Breckin Meyer and Vinnie Jones and is directed by Anthony Hickox from a screenplay by Steven de Souza (Die Hard).
The film follows the adventures of a struggling marine pilot who is towing an old oil rig out to sea only to find himself and his crew overpowered by a group of well-armed mercenaries. Initially they claim to be environmental activists; but soon their real purpose is revealed - their hidden agenda is to aim a lethal strike on the American coastline.
"Owing to the ever present threat of terrorist attacks, oil companies adhere to very stringent security measures and it is unusual and an utter coup to be granted permission to shoot aboard a working rig," comments Blast producer, Klaus Rettig.
While most of the big action sequences have been shot aboard the oil rig, a major studio that replicates the inner chambers of the oil rig has been constructed in Cape Town's Salt River for most of the other sequences. Blast will be shot entirely on location in Cape Town and principal photography is scheduled to wrap in late February 2003. The Motion Picture Corporation of America will be distributing the picture.
Meanwhile, the shoot has been dogged by local press-reporting last week about a raucous spa bath party attended by Vinnie Jones at a Cape Town home during the early hours of Saturday the 18th. Three women filed complaints with the police, one alleging that she had been sexually assaulted and another claiming she was nearly drowned. A third said she was sworn at. The charges have since been dropped by police.
Blast is produced by Brad Krevoy, Klaus Rettig (I Am Dina, Joe And Max), David Lancaster (Loving Jezebel) and David Wicht (Promised Land, Second Skin) and is executive produced by Gerhard Schmidt (Bookies, Baby).