×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mechanic’s ‘Moon’ Finally Set to Rise in Oz

French-set fantasy to shoot in Melbourne with Chinese finance, star

HONG KONG — Bill Mechanic’s long-gestating fantasy film “The Moon And The Sun” is finally set to start shooting from April 2014 in Australia.

The $40 million picture will be directed by Sean McNamara and star Pierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy and China’s Fan Bingbing.

News of the project’s updated status came from the Australian state of Victoria, where government minister Louise Asher announced that the film had committed to shoot there.

“In addition to an estimated $25 million in production expenditure, ‘The Moon and the Sun’ will employ up to 1,200 Victorians in cast and crew – reaping extensive benefits for the Victorian screen industry and broader economy,” she said in a statement. Asher did not reveal how much Victoria is injecting into the project, though it seems likely that after competing with other states it will have to make a direct financial commitment to the film.

The film’s other finance will come from U.S. and Chinese sources. Cosmos Filmed Entertainment will produce “The Moon and the Sun” in association with Lightstream Pictures, and the China-based Maodi Group. Mechanic, former CEO and chairman of Fox Studios and Producer of Coraline, James Pang (“Painted Skin 2”), Melbourne-born Paul Currie (“Rampart,” “One Perfect Day”), and Evergrande’s Timothy Mou are all producing on the project.

Production will be focused at the Docklands Studios in Melbourne. Preproduction will start from January and lensing from April. Two weeks of shooting in Versailles France will also take place.

Universal’s Focus Features will release the film in the U.S. and Good Universe will handle international sales. 

The film is a is a fantasy/adventure feature, based on the award-winning novel by Vonda McIntyre about French king Louis XIV, who kidnaps a mermaid in order to steal its life force. Mechanic has been handling the project since 2001, when it was set up at Disney with Nathalie Portman starring and the Henson Co producing. It was also called “Mermaid” and at one time was set with Greg Hoblit to direct.

“We have a beautiful French story, acclaimed English and Chinese actors, and the best Australian creative talent all combining to make a completely unique adult fairy tale,” Mechanic said in a prepared statement.

More Film

  • PLAYA VISTA, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 24:

    Shorts Encourage Women to STEAM Careers

    Straight Up Films created the anthology “Power/On” of five shorts focused on encouraging girls in STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math with the arts thrown in) directed by actresses Rosario Dawson, Julie Bowen, Ana Brenda Contreras, Lisa Edelstein, and Nikki Reed. With support from YouTube, the shorts premiered Wednesday at the Google campus in Playa [...]

  • Stefanie Sherk obit

    Stefanie Sherk, Actress and Wife to Demian Bichir, Dies at 43

    Canadian actress and model Stefanie Sherk died on April 20 of an apparent suicide by drowning. She was 43. The Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed the ruling and cause of death. Sherk appeared in the TV show “CSI: Cyber” and the movie “Valentine’s Day.” She also starred in the show “The Bridge” alongside her husband [...]

  • Ron HowardBreakthrough Prize, Arrivals, NASA Ames

    Ron Howard Talks New Luciano Pavarotti Documentary

    If one is an anomaly, two are a coincidence and three are a trend, then Ron Howard might strictly become a music documentarian after “Pavarotti” hits theaters. The documentary about the world-famous Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti comes on the heels of Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” and “Made in America,” a look at [...]

  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead to Star in Netflix Assassin Thriller 'Kate' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead is set to star in the Netflix actioner “Kate,” sources tell Variety. “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is helming from a script by Umair Aleem. The story revolves around a female assassin, who, after being poisoned and given less than 24 hours to live, must go on a manhunt through [...]

  • Shannon Hoon

    Blind Melon Frontman's Home Movies Captivate in Tribeca Doc 'All I Can Say'

    For a period of five years, Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon diligently chronicled his own life, videotaping himself with a Hi-8 video camera through every step of his musical journey — starting out in Indiana, through his meteoric rise to alt-rock icon, up to the day of his death in 1995. These captivating moments finally [...]

  • 'The Edge of Democracy' Review: A

    Film Review: 'The Edge of Democracy'

    How the hell did we get here? It’s a question that political liberals are asking themselves in many parts of the world, reeling as they are from a global tilt to the right that has yielded the tumultuous Trump presidency, the ceaseless, squabbling chaos of Brexit and, albeit less prominently in international headlines, Brazil’s submission [...]

  • Brie Larson

    Brie Larson on Diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: 'We Gotta Move Faster'

    While Brie Larson is thrilled over the success of the female-led “Captain Marvel,” the actress wants more diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Larson sat down with Variety’s Marc Malkin for the first episode of Variety and iHeartMedia’s new film podcast, “The Big Ticket.” “I’m happy to be on the forefront of the normalization of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content