Another big-budget US production for the Czech Republic
by Martin Kudláč
- The fifth instalment in the Underworld saga is currently being shot in Prague
Following the end of production on Anthropoid (see the news), another big-budget US production has now rolled into Prague. On 6 October, the shoot for the latest instalment in the Underworld action-horror vampire saga, Underworld: Next Generation, got under way, with Kate Beckinsale reprising her role as the vampiric werewolf killer Selene, with whom the vampire clans are at war. The new movie was originally planned to be a reboot of the franchise; however, it was then decided that it would follow on and tell a new story. Despite the plot still being under wraps, it is rumoured to feature Eve from the previous title Underworld: Awakening, the hybrid daughter of Selene and vampire-Lycan hybrid Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman), as one of the main characters.
Underworld: Next Generation is a Lakeshore Entertainment production through its European branch, Lakeshore International. “The Czech Republic has world-class locations, great production facilities and international-calibre crew, as well as a straightforward, efficient production rebate. It’s a great place for us to be,” commented Lakeshore’s executive vice-president and head of production, Richard S Wright. The line producer for the Czech Republic is Barrandov-based outfit Stillking Films, which gained experience on such productions as Joon-ho Bong’s Snowpiercer [+see also:
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Written by Cory Goodman (who penned The Last Witch Hunter and Priest), the fifth Underworld movie is being helmed by Anna Foerster, who directed episodes of television series Criminal Minds and Outlander, as well as lensing Roland Emmerich’s blockbuster White House Down and working as second unit director on The Day After Tomorrow and 10,000 BC. The shoot is scheduled to last until December.
“Many territories offer filmmakers incentives in the form of tax credits, but the Czech plan is different in that it actually gives producers cash grants once they finish their production,” explained Czech film commissioner Ludmila Claussova. The Czech Republic offers a 20% rebate on the Czech production costs and a 10% one on above-the-line expenses for filmmakers shooting in the country. The Czech Republic’s Cinematography Fund has allocated $49 million to 71 film and television projects shooting in the country this year and next year. For instance, Fox 21 shot the second season of the crime-thriller series Legends, starring Sean Bean, in Prague during summer this year for American basic cable and satellite television network TNT Drama.