Producer prepping remake with Ammar coin
The world is not enough for Dino De Laurentiis.In London recently to promote “Hannibal Rising,” the latest film in the Hannibal Lecter saga, the producer exhibited his decidedly global view of filmmaking. “Rising” is the first of a troika of pics including “The Last Legion” and “Virgin Territory” bankrolled by Paris-based financier Tarak Ben Ammar. First up is a remake of “Barbarella,” which De Laurentiis distills thus: “Female James Bond –in outer space.” Peter Weber, who helmed the new “Hannibal” pic, will take the reins on the feminist space odyssey. Then there’s an as-yet-untitled underwater epic about a killer whale, penned by Tom and Jez Butterworth. De Laurentiis expects a script to be ready by March. While neither pic is a definite go project as yet, De Laurentiis continues to show an uncanny knack for raising coin. He and wife Martha De Laurentiiis got the financing for “Hannibal,” “Legion” and “Virgin” –combined budgets of $160 million — entirely in Europe. Their source for future financing may lie further afield. “The Mideast is going to be big,” says Martha. De Laurentiis has already expanded his interests eastward, with a share in Morocco’s CLA studios. (He initially bought into the studio to lens the long-gestating Baz Luhrmann Alexander the Great project.) De Laurentiis now plans to use CLA to shoot “Barbarella.” The couple still hope to make Luhrmann’s Alexander pic, and have stayed in regular contact with the Oz helmer. But it’s not all about the dealmaking, says Dino. “The majority of producers believe the most important thing you need to make a movie is the money. It’s not true,” he explains. “If you have the right idea, the right script, the money comes to you easily.”
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