Teuton helmer is taking on Hitler

'Downfall' release date set for Sept. 16, 2004

BERLIN — German helmer Oliver Hirschbiegel, who shocked local auds with “Das Experiment,” is set to direct a feature on Adolf Hitler for Constantin Film.

“Der Untergang — Hitler und das Ende des 3. Reichs” (“The Downfall — Hitler and the End of the Third Reich”) was adapted by Constantin topper and veteran producer Bernd Eichinger from Joachim Fest’s book of the same name, as well as from material written by Hitler’s personal secretary, Traudl Junge.

Lensing is skedded to begin in August in Germany and in other European locations. Pic’s theatrical release date has been set for Sept. 16, 2004.

Hirschbiegel, who had been in the running to helm the third installment of New Line’s “Blade” franchise, became hot property following the success of “Das Experiment.”

Constantin has yet to announce a cast for what is expected to be a high-profile big-budget and potentially controversial pic, one of a number of Hitler projects in the works.

In addition to Alliance Atlantis’ miniseries for CBS, “Hitler: The Rise of Evil,” starring Robert Carlyle, German pubcaster ZDF and producer Guido Knopp are developing a docudrama about Hitler’s last days, due to air in 2005 for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. Writer-director Heinrich Breloer (“Die Manns”) is working on a project about Albert Speer, Hitler’s beloved architect.

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