×
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

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    North American Box Office Declines From Last Year With Weak Presidents Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content