Studio Hamburg International Production (SHIP), the English-language division of Studio Hamburg Produktion (SHP), has unveiled a slate of five feature projects for production in 2004/2005.
The first project scheduled for production at the end of this year is the children's adventure film The Mystery Of Skeleton Island, which will be the first in a trilogy of features based on the The Three Investigators series of books by Robert Arthur.
The script, based on the adventures of a three young detectives, is being written by US writer David Howard. A director has yet to be attached.
SHP's CEO Sytze van der Laan said that the trilogy would "form the backbone" of the slate and added that the company planned to release one film every Christmas starting in 2005."
He said that there are plans to develop a franchise on the trilogy, with a spinoff TV series and merchandising to accompany the feature films.
SHIP is also developing the European co-production Clowns And Heroes about a Jewish woman who hides in a circus from her Nazi persecutors from a screenplay by Hannes Jaenicke and US screenwriter Beth Serlin (Nowhere In Africa) to be directed by Roland Suso Richter (The I Inside).
Another project due to go into production next year is Christoph Schrewe's "Notting Hill-style" romantic comedy Marriage Torture Test about the trials and tribulations of a young bridegroom marrying into a rich Scottish whisky family.
Also, Saul Metzstein (Late Night Shopping) has agreed to direct the comedy Stone Of Destiny based on the true story from the 1950s of the plans by a group of Scottish teenagers to steal the "stone of destiny" from Westminster Abbey.
In addition, SHIP is partnering with Amsterdam-based production house Shooting Star and Rick Tubbax of Belgian entertainment outfit Studio 100 on a live-action version of Jester Till (Till Eulenspiegel) which will be written and directed by Stijn Coninx for shooting next year.
SHIP was launched last May with offices in Hamburg and Los Angeles to produce internationally marketable European co-productions between Euros 5m-15m, and is headed by independent producer Stuart Pollok.