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Paying lip service

German pubcaster hoped to air 'Soraya' at Christmas

BERLIN — “Soraya,” a lavish German-Italian miniseries about the wife of the last Iranian shah, was a ratings winner on Italy’s RAI 1 this month. But German viewers will have to wait until Oliver Stone’s pic “Alexander” has wrapped before they see it.

German pubcaster and co-producer ARD hoped to air “Soraya” at Christmas, but it has been postponed until next year after thesp Erol Sander, who plays Shah Reza Pahlevi in the mini, landed a role in “Alexander” and took off to Morocco to join the project before he could redub his lines for the miniseries.

Like many Euro productions, “Soraya” was shot in “Babylonian,” meaning actors in the international cast all speak in their native tongues.

Pics are then redubbed by the same actors for domestic consumption or by voice actors in foreign territories.

Turkish-born Sander, who recited his lines in English, won’t get a chance to rerecord into German until he’s finished “Alexander.”

The series, which garnered an average 33% share on RAI 1 with 9.5 million viewers, expects similar success in Germany, where the late Soraya, who’s mother was German and father Iranian, remains an icon.

Jan Mojto’s EOS Entertainment, which co-produced “Soraya” with Italy’s Lux Vide, RAI and ARD, is also producing the first major project starring Sarah Biasini, daughter of late Austrian star Romy Schneider.

In the 17th-century cloak-and-dagger tale “Julie, Chevalier de Maupin,” Biasini plays a woman trying to solve the mystery of her heritage while on the run from assassins. Pic is loosely based on the real-life La Maupin, a 17th century French swordswoman, adventuress and opera star whose sexually liberated attitude and wild exploits became the stuff of legend.

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