“Game of Thrones” star Charles Dance, Dutch actress Lotte Verbeek, and rising Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason (“Borg/McEnroe”) will topline “The Book of Vision,” an English-language fantasy/mystery directed by Italy’s Carlo Hintermann and executive produced by U.S. auteur Terrence Malick. Principal photography on the pic began Monday in Belgium.
The film, which was pitched to buyers at Rome’s Mia market, is a time-shifting tale “centered around the history of the doctor-patient relationship,” said Hintermann, whose collaborations with Malick include serving as second-unit director on the Italian shoot of the Palme d’Or-winning “The Tree of Life.” Hintermann also co-wrote a book on Malick and directed a documentary about working with him.
“The Book of Vision” follows a young Italian doctor named Eva who, while studying the history of medicine at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, discovers an 18th-century text about a Prussian doctor which hides a mystery. “As Eva studies the book, she brings back to life the stories it contains,” according to the project’s logline.
Verbeek (“The Borgias,” “Outlander”) plays Eva. Dance (pictured) plays the Prussian doctor and also Eva’s doctor in the present day. Gudnason plays Eva’s research tutor. Other key cast members include Italy’s Filippo Nigro, who stars in Netflix’s first Italian original, “Suburra,” and Russia’s Isolda Dychauk (“Faust”).
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“The Book of Vision” is Hintermann’s feature film debut. He has made several English-language documentaries, including “The Dark Side of the Sun,” about a camp in Upstate New York that caters to children with xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare genetic disease. The film, which included animated segments depicting the children’s dreams, launched from the Rome Film Festival.
Malick has been involved in “The Book of Vision” from the outset, according to Hintermann. He helped assemble a top-notch team that includes cinematographer Joerg Widmer (“Inglourious Basterds”) and set designer David Crank (“Lincoln”).
“The Book of Vision’s” producer is Gerardo Panichi, one of Hintermann’s partners in the Rome-based Citrullo International production shingle. The film is a three-way co-production budgeted at €5.2 million ($6.1 million) between Italy’s Rai Cinema, Belgium’s Entre Chien et Loup, and Luminous Arts in the U.K. Shooting will also take place in Trentino, Italy.