Third Werner pic ramps up

BERLIN — Kiel-based production company Achterbahn AG, which holds the rights to the comic book character Werner, plans to produce the third Werner animated pic on its own. To raise the $5 million to $6 million needed to make the film, Achterbahn has announced plans to go public later this year. Details of the floatation will be released in October.

The first Werner film, 1991’s “Werner — Beinhart” was produced and distributed by Bernd Eichinger’s Constantin, while Hanno Huth’s Senator Film produced last year’s “Werner — Eat My Dust!!” (Werner — Das muss kesseln!!) Both pics became blockbusters, selling more than 5 million tickets each in German-lingo territories. According to Achterbahn rep Stefan Becht, however, Achterbahn’s shareholders, including Werner creator Roedger Feldmann, saw “very little of the profits.”

In hopes of finally cashing in on the enormous popularity of the cult character, Achterbahn has decided to produce a third, and possibly a fourth, Werner movie without production partners. Tentative release date for the next Werner pic is winter 1999.

Achterbahn is currently considering experienced Werner animators Gerhard Hahn and Michael Schaack as directors, said Becht. Pic will be distributed in Germany by Constantin.

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