Stevenson novel begin path towards bigscreen

AUCKLAND — As the final part of “The Lord of the Rings” bowed in the capital Wellington, another trilogy based on a literary classic is shooting in New Zealand.

The wild coast west of Auckland is the setting for three films in the “Treasure Island Kids” series, starring Randy Quaid, which started shooting Friday. The films, loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, are the first tilt at building a domestic market for Daybreak Pacific, the Auckland-based company of brothers Dale and Grant Bradley, the country’s most prolific filmmakers. The pair have concentrated on overseas sales — mainly to cable — with titles including “Wild Blue,” “Kids World” and “Ozzie.”

Daybreak is co-producing with U.K.-based Aria Films and L.A.-based Crystal Sky handles world sales.

The first film was helmed by expat Kiwi Gavin Scott, who lives in L.A., and the second two are being shot back-to-back under the direction of local thesp/helmer Michael Hurst. Shooting is expected to wrap mid-January.

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