Manex on ‘Mission’

Paramount gives f/x house shots in sequel

After creating “bullet-time” visuals on “The Matrix,” Manex Entertainment has landed several major action sequences for Paramount’s Tom Cruise starrer “Mission: Impossible 2.”

Although San Francisco-based Manex wouldn’t disclose which sequences or shots it is working on, the shot count for the entire production could easily top 150.

Richard Yuricich, who was visual f/x supervisor for some of “Mission: Impossible,” as well as for “Event Horizon,” “Blade Runner” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” is serving in the same role on the “Mission” sequel.

Sharing the wealth

In what has become an expected move among large studio pics, the producers of “MI2” are spreading the effects work among several houses.

CFC-London (which sold its Los Angeles arm to Manex in February), and Kodak’s Cinesite (“The Mummy”) also are creating f/x shots for the pic, with Cinesite handling all of the digital imaging — scanning and recording — and a portion of the composite work.

Several Australia-based post-houses, including Animal Logic, which also worked on “Matrix,” may have work farmed out to them.

Cinesite is finishing up shots for U’s “For Love of the Game,” with Kevin Costner, and is creating more than 100 shots for Par’s drama “Wonder Boys,” with Michael Douglas. It also served as the primary vendor on Warner’s “Chill Factor,” which bowed Friday.

“MI2,” a sequel to the 1996 pic, is being helmed by John Woo (“Face/Off”) and is shooting in Australia. Post-production is expected to begin in September. Pic also stars Ving Rhames, Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton and Dougray Scott. Cruise and Paula Wagner’s C/W Prods. is producing.

‘Impossible’ schedule

The pic originally was skedded to bow in December, but was delayed until next May due to script and budgetary issues. Cruise also took some time off to push Warner Bros.’ “Eyes Wide Shut.”

“It was always assumed that it would be pushed (back),” said one exec close to the project. “Paramount didn’t need a movie for the holiday release.” Par’s Tim Burton thriller “Sleepy Hollow” is lined up for a holiday bow.

Manex most recently completed shots for Warner’s “Deep Blue Sea,” and is at work on Disney’s “Bicentennial Man” with Robin Williams.

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