Wild Bunch is announcing three new projects heading into this week’s AFM as well as international sales for Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro.
Coppola’s family mystery debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and had a small US release via his American Zoetrope. Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval told Screen he expected to sell out the remaining territories by the end of the AFM.
The first of the new projects is an adaptation of the Coen brothers’ classic, Blood Simple. Directed by Zhang Yimou and set in China at the end of the 18th century, The First Gun hews closely to the original albeit with more humour, Maraval said.
Shot on a $12m budget, The First Gun is produced by Zhang Weiping and Bill Kong who also produced Curse Of The Golden Flower. Sony Classics is releasing the film in the US in April and will also handle distribution in Asia. Wild Bunch is selling the rest of the world.
From director Gregg Araki comes a sexy comedy-thriller, Kaboom. Set on a university campus, the story follows Smith, whose idyllic freshman year is turned upside down when, after tripping on hallucinogen-laced cookies, he becomes convinced he’s witness a horrible murder.
As he searches for the truth, Smith tumbles deeper and deeper into a dark conspiracy. The comedic tone of the film pokes fun at organised religion – one in particular that is well known for its ties to Hollywood, although it is never named.
The cast is made up of up-and-coming US talent including Thomas Dekker, Chris Zylka and Juno Temple. Also starring are Kelly Lynch and Roxanne Mesquida. Kaboom will be ready in early 2010 with a small chance it could be finished in time for Sundance.
The third new title is a documentary in three parts, The Revelation Of The Pyramids. Directed by Patrice Pooyard, the project is a ten-year odyssey that Wild Bunch became involved with about three years ago. It delves into the enigma of the great pyramid at Giza: Who built it and why? Using a scientific approach, the film unveils a message addressed to future generations by the civilisation that built not only the pyramid but also other archaeological sites including Easter Island and the ancient city of Teotihuacan.
In what Maraval referred to as a Da Vinci Code-style mystery, the film is a journey into the hearts of the most enigmatic sites around the world that ultimately reveals the mystery of the Pyramids, as well as the origins – and the future – of our own civilisation.
Revelation is currently in post-production and Maraval says Wild Bunch is mulling over ideas as to how to show the film for the first time in what is expected to be an event. “It looks like nothing we’ve seen before. After five minutes, you’re addicted. It’s like a documentary version of Stargate or The Da Vinci Code.” A long promo reel will be shown at the AFM.
Also on deck for Wild Bunch at the AFM are the first images from such films as Ken Loach’s Irish Route, Peter Mullan’s Neds, Sam Gabarski’s Quartier Lointain, Gregoire Vigneron’s Immaculate and Jean-Luc Godard’s Socialism. A long promo of Michael Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me with Casey Affleck and Jessica Alba will be shown as well as images from Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s The Extra Manwith Kevin Kline, Paul Dano and Katie Holmes.
Among the films that Wild Bunch will screen are Laurent Tirard’s Little Nicolas, which is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing French film of the year; Paul King’s Bunny And The Bull; Nicolas Winding Refn’s Valhalla Rising; Claire Denis’ White Material; and Jaco Van Dormael’s Mr. Nobody.