Constantin in ‘Surprise’ distrib move

TV 'Trek' sketch to be produced by Herbig

BERLIN — Teutonic film group Constantin has picked up German-speaking theatrical, video and DVD to “(T)Raumschiff Surprise — Periode 1,” a “Star Trek” spoof from “Manitou’s Shoe” helmer Michael Herbig.

Constantin co-produced and distributed “Manitou’s Shoe,” the 2001 Western sendup that went on to become the most successful German film, with box office of nearly $70 million.

Herbig’s Munich-based HerbX Film is producing the pic, which the director decided to make after holding an online vote that allowed his fans to pick his next project.

“(T)Raumschiff Surprise” (raumschiff is wordplay meaning “spaceship” or “dreamboat”) is based on a popular recurring sketch from Herbig’s ProSieben TV comedy, “BullyParade,” in which a starship helmed by a campy gay crew explores the final frontier.

Herbig will star with Til Schweiger, Anja Kling and “BullyParade” regulars Rick Kavanian and Christian Tramitz. Herbig penned the script with “Manitou’s Shoe” co-authors Alfons Biedermann and Kavanian.

Constantin is aiming for a summer 2004 release for “(T)Raumschiff Surprise.” Distrib has licensed the German-speaking video and DVD rights to RTL Group subsid Universum Film. Of the 10 top-grossing local movies in 2002, eight were produced or distributed by Constantin.

Meanwhile, the Deutsche Boerse has accepted Constantin’s application to join the new Prime Standard segment, which kicked off Jan. 1.

The Prime Standard succeeds the luckless Neuer Markt — Constantin is one of a few media units to keep its place on the Neuer Markt until the end of the year. Besides Constantin, other media companies to join the Prime Standard are music web Viva Media and film financier VCL.

(Christian Kohl in Cologne contributed to this report.)

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