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Italians board on 3D train

Multimedia Film horror, porn titles touted at Cannes

Italy is hopping on the 3D bandwagon with a pair of titles from two of its most exported directors: horror maestro Dario Argento and soft-porn helmer Tinto Brass.

Argento is penning the screenplay for a stereoscopic 3D adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” to be shot in English in Hungary.

Brass will start shooting in October on 3D “Who Killed Caligula?”

Both Argento’s stereoscopic take on the tale of the Carpathian count who drinks human blood to stay alive and “Caligula” 3D are being shepherded by Roberto Di Girolamo and Gianni Paolucci’s Multimedia Film Production.

“Of course there have been dozens of Draculas done before, but Dario is really excited about doing one in 3D and putting the Argento stamp on it,” said Di Girolamo, who is preselling both pics in Cannes.

“Italy doesn’t export many of its movies, but I think 3D can give Italian genre fare a big international boost.”

Brass, 77, has helmed dozens of adult titles, including the Bob Guccione-produced cult classic “Caligula,” starring Malcolm McDowell as the sexually perverted Roman emperor.

“Who Killed Caligula?” will be a much softer, comic take on that tale of Roman decadence. Conspiracies force Caligula to leave his palace and take refuge “in a luxurious brothel,” where he loses his life, says the sales synopsis. Di Girolamo is setting up the 3D “Caligula” as an English-language co-production with France and Spain. Pic is set to shoot for 12 weeks in Tarak Ben Ammar’s Empire Studios in Tunisia.

Brass, who was briefly hospitalized in April in Italy for a brain hemorrhage, has now made a full recovery, Di Girolamo said.

“Caligula” casting is not set. The budget is $6 million, not including casting costs.

Di Girolamo has “high hopes that with this erotic comedy Brass (who is widely sold on homevid and specialty TV internationally) will break into the global theatrical arena.”

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