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Inside Move: If the ‘Shoe’ fits…

Teuton hitmakers try space pic on for size

With twice the budget of “Manitou’s Shoe,” Germany’s biggest domestic B.O. hit, the makers of that crowdpleaser are hoping for a similar bonanza with their next film, due to hit Teuton theaters in July.

Helmer-producer Michael Herbig is putting the team from his TV laffer “Bully Parade” into space for the sci-fi comedy “(T)raumschiff Surprise,” which aims to do for space adventure what “Manitou’s Shoe” did for Teuton Westerns three years ago.

More than 10 million people turned out for “Shoe,” a parody of Kraut Westerns from the 1960s.

But the scale has definitely changed.

Herbig says “(T)raumschiff Surprise” cost $11 million, a noticeable share of it spent on special effects for the futuristic setting.

“This was necessary to be credible for a space adventure,” he says, noting that “Manitou’s” quest for accuracy led the pic to shoot on Sergio Leone’s former playground Almeria in Spain.

Herbig, who calls Zucker-Abrahams’ “Airplane” the inspiration for his brand of humor, says “Surprise” is aimed primarily at the domestic market.

Teuton distribution is being handled by Constantin, and TV rights have been snatched up by Haim Saban‘s ProSieben, which broadcast “Bully Parade.”