Production house sets up next project
Morena Films on the medieval actioner, which revolves around a disinherited Saxon knight who pledges his sword to England’s Norman king, Richard the Lionhearted. James Jacks, who produced “The Mummy” franchise, is writing and producing, with Iain Softley (“Inkheart”) set to direct. Budgeted between $33 million-$38 million, pic is the first bigscreen adaptation of the tale since Richard Thorpe’s 1952 pic starring Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor. Pic will likely shoot in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, where “Last Station” and Egoli Tossell’s upcoming medieval thriller “Black Death,” starring Sean Bean, also lensed. “For ‘Black Death’ we had the medieval experience that worked particularly well in Saxony-Anhalt for obvious reasons — in those days that was really the center of Europe, certainly of Germany,” said Egoli Tossell co-topper Jens Meurer. “So we’ve had a taste of what we can get (shooting) here in Germany as far as medieval stories are concerned.” “Ivanhoe,” which is expected to begin production this fall, is one of a slew of upcoming films from Egoli Tossell is set to shoot this year. Next up is “Playoff,” a $7.5 million co-production with France’s Fidelite Films and United King in Israel. Directed by Eran Riklis (“Lemon Tree”), pic centers on an Israeli basketball coach who escaped Nazi persecution as a child and returns to his native country in 1977 to train West Germany’s national basketball team. Buoyed by a $1 million grant from regional funder HessenInvestFilm, “Playoff” begins lensing in April in Frankfurt. Shooting this summer in Germany and around the globe is “Hector’s Journey,” from director Katja von Garnier (“Blood and Chocolate”). Co-produced by Warner Bros. Germany and based on Francois Lelord’s bestselling novel, the $16 million pic follows a frustrated young psychiatrist who embarks on a journey to find out what makes people happy. Egoli Tossell is teaming with Cologne-based Zeitsprung Entertainment on “Trollmann,” a German-language pic set to shoot this year from writer-director Carsten Fiebeler (“Kleinruppin Forever”). Pic tells the true story of a gypsy boxer who became the German champion in 1933 yet ended up imprisoned in a concentration camp a few years a later. Shingle’s development slate includes “What You Wish For,” a romantic-comedy dealing with time travel and Jane Austen, written by Samantha Silva, wife of “Last Station” helmer Michael Hoffman. Egoli Tossell’s upcoming releases this year include “Black Death,” from Christopher Smith; David Pinillos’ romantic comedy “Bon Appetit,” a Co-production with Morena Films and Swiss shingle Zodiac Pictures; and Olivier Assayas’ “Carlos the Jackal,” about notorious Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, a co-production with Paris-based Film en Stock.