×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Germany’s Constantin Lands Roland Emmerich’s ‘Maya Lord’ (EXCLUSIVE)

In one of the richest deals of the European Film Market so far, Constantin Film has picked up Roland Emmerich’s upcoming historical epic “Maya Lord” for Germany.

Emmerich’s Centropolis Entertainment and Voltage Pictures are producing the movie, and Voltage is selling it in Berlin. Emmerich, whose credits include “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” was in town to present the picture to buyers alongside Voltage boss Nicolas Chartier. Constantin won a subsequent auction for German distribution rights.

The film, budgeted in the $60 million to $70 million range, is based on John Coe Robbins’ historical novel of the same title. Emmerich will direct from a script by Angela Workman (“The Zookeeper’s Wife”).

The story follows Guerrero, a soldier, and Father Aguilar, a priest, who survive a shipwreck off of the Yucatan Peninsula and are captured by a Mayan tribe. Guerrero adopts Mayan culture and assimilates, but Aguilar holds fast to his Christian faith. Both are put to the test with the arrival, in 1519, of the conquistadors.

The film is expected to shoot later this year. The producers have compared the project to “Dances With Wolves,” a film Constantin also had. The combination of the German Emmerich’s domestic appeal and the prospect of a sweeping historical epic was enough to convince Germany’s biggest independent producer-distributor to write a check for several million dollars.

Popular on Variety

Voltage is sealing other deals on “Maya Lord” in Berlin, and Constantin could land it for other territories. U.S. and China rights are repped by CAA.

“I have been passionate about bringing this incredible true story of famed adventurer Gonzalo Guerrero to audiences for a long time, so I am delighted to be joining forces with Nic Chartier and the team at Voltage to bring this rich and powerful film to life,” Emmerich said ahead of EFM.

Chartier added: “This will be the perfect film for buyers who want event movies that can compete with studios’ releases in their countries.”

Centropolis is also working on an adaptation of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and “Midway,” a World War II movie that it will co-produce with The Mark Gordon Company and that is also expected to shoot in 2018.

Elsa Keslassy contributed to this report.

More Film

  • Cineworld

    U.K.'s Cineworld Poised to Buy Canada's Cineplex in $2.1 Billion Deal

    U.K.-based movie theater chain Cineworld is to acquire Cineplex, Canada’s leading cinema chain. The deal, announced Monday, values the Toronto-listed Cineplex at $2.1 billion (C$2.8 billion). Cineplex says that it has secured unanimous approval from Cineplex’s board of directors, and that Cineplex’s leading shareholder Global City Theaters, with 28% of the shares, has also accepted [...]

  • Trailer to Fedor Bondarchuk Sci-Fi Actioner

    Fedor Bondarchuk's Sci-Fi Actioner 'Invasion' Debuts Imax Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the Imax trailer, dubbed into English, to Fedor Bondarchuk’s sci-fi actioner “Invasion,” the sequel to his 2017 blockbuster “Attraction.” In the first film Moscow becomes the battleground for all-out war against an army of alien invaders. In the sequel, an alien spaceship crash lands in Moscow, and an [...]

  • Sheep Without a Shepherd

    China Box Office: ‘Shepherd’ and ‘Skyfire’ Lead Local Film Dominance

    Chinese-made films “Sheep Without A Shepherd,” “Skyfire” and “Gone With the Light” dominated weekend takings at the mainland Chinese box office. Hollywood’s holdovers were consigned to the lesser rankings. “Shepherd” is a remake of 2013 Indian thriller “Drishyam” and tells the story of a man trying to cover up for his daughter’s killing of a [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    COLA Announces California On-Location Awards Winners

    “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Dolemite is My Name,” and HBO’s “Ballers” are among the winners of this year’s COLA awards. The COLAs recognize location managers, public employees and other professionals who help facilitate on-location production across the Golden State. This year’s awards program was held at the Universal Hilton. Finalists and winners are [...]

  • French movie director Jean Luc Godard

    How Anna Karina and Jean-Luc Godard Immortalized Each Other (Guest Column)

    With the passing of Anna Karina, a curtain has fallen on the French New Wave, that fabled cinematic movement that brought fame to the man who made her name, Jean-Luc Godard. Yes, Godard is still with us, as is “Breathless” star Jean-Paul Belmondo (practically the last of the living New Wave legends), but his moviemaking [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    Box Office: Clint Eastwood Suffers Worst Opening in Four Decades With 'Richard Jewell'

    Clint Eastwood might end up with a lump of box office coal after “Richard Jewell” sputtered in its domestic debut. Despite critical acclaim, Warner Bros.’ drama about the security guard falsely accused by the media for playing a part in the 1996 Olympics bombing ignited with a dismal $5 million from 2,502 theaters. It’s a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content