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Polanski back in the middle of things

Amadeus Pictures to release biopic

HOLLYWOOD — As shooting on the Roman Polanski political thriller “The Ghost” begins in Berlin, Hollywood’s Sunset Strip will also get a taste of Polanski, thanks to the Amadeus Pictures’ biopic “Polanski Unauthorized” at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 Theater.

Amadeus topper Damian Chapa, who wrote, directed and stars in the low-budget “Polanski,” notes a connection between the two films.

“I made a biopic on someone I thought was fascinating, while Polanski is doing the same thing with his new film, which is loosely based on the former Prime Minister Tony Blair.”

While that interpretation may be a bit of a stretch, “Ghost” does center on a British prime minister (Pierce Brosnan) who hires a ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) to write his memoirs. The ghostwriter later uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy. The pic, which began lensing last week, is based on the Robert Harris novel of the same name. Polanski directs the film and will produce along with Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde. Summit Intl. will represent worldwide rights.

Chapa’s film involved an eight-week shoot in Europe and Los Angeles and spans Polanski’s entire life beginning with his childhood in Nazi-occupied Poland up until his exile from the U.S. Pic officially opens for a two-week run on Friday. Chapa, who portrays Polanski, also has had roles in films such as “Under Siege” and “Street Fighter.”

“A lot of people in the industry told me early on that I shouldn’t make this film for political reasons,” Chapa said. “But I am a controversial guy and I wanted to make a film about someone I found interesting, so I went ahead with it.”

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