City gets ringside seats to 'Joe and Max'

BERLIN — Germany’s Gemini Film and International West Pictures will shoot “Joe and Max,” the story of 1930s heavyweight boxers Max Schmeling and Joe Louis, next month in Berlin.

Pic, helmed by Steve James (“Hoop Dream”) from a script by Jason Horvitch, stars Til Schweiger (“Driven”) and Leonard Roberts (“He Got Game”).

Story follows the young boxers as early rivals through to their post-war friendship, covering the years from 1932 to 1952, and explores the political background of Germany and the U.S.

“Joe and Max” is one of two Max Schmeling projects in the works. Another pic about the famed German boxer is being penned for Spike Lee.

U.S. feevee Starz Encore and MPCA are also on board the $10 million project, with Starz’s Paige Orloff and MPCA’s Mike Karz sharing billing with Brad Krevoy, IWP’s Gerhard Schmidt and Gemini’s Klaus Rettig as producers.

IWP is financing the $10 million pic while MPCA is handling world sales. IWP and MPCA will also be shooting “Boat Trip,” with Cuba Gooding Jr. set to star, this summer.

IWP was recently set up by Gemini and Germany’s Commerzbank as a financing and production joint-venture.

Gemini is co-producing “I am Dina,” the latest pic by “Nightwatch” helmer Ole Bornedal starring Gerard Depardieu and Marie Bonnevie. Last year Gemini partnered with fellow Teutonic financiers Apollo Media and the Filmstiftung NRW on Alan Rudolph’s “Investigating Sex,” which also stars Schweiger.

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