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PRODUCTION France

Kassovitz shoots Babylon A.D.

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Kassovitz shoots Babylon A.D.

According to the director’s official site, principal photography on the mega-production Babylon A.D. [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Mathieu Kassovitz began in the Czech Republic on Monday.

The cast is expected to include US actor Vin Diesel, France’s Mélanie Thierry and Gérard Depardieu, Asian star Michelle Yeoh, as well as British actor Mark Strong (of an Italian father and Austrian mother).

Meanwhile, StudioCanal, co-producer and international sales agent for the film, have said that Jamel Debbouze (Best Actor at Cannes for Days of Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean Bréhat
interview: Rachid Bouchareb
film profile
]
) may star. Further rumours are doing the rounds that Charlotte Rampling is to feature in the film, which has seen several ups-and-downs under a veil of great secrecy.

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An adaptation by Kassovitz and Eric Besnard of Maurice G. Dantec’s novel Babylon Babies, the feature – set in a future ruled by the media and technology – recounts the tribulations of mercenary and loner Hugo Cornelius Toorop (a character already seen in Olivier Megaton’s Red Siren and this time played by Diesel).

Accepting to escort Aurora (Thierry) from Eastern Europe to New York for a Mafia job, Toorop discovers that the young woman is being used as a guinea pig by researchers. She turns out to be the object of multiple and dangerous interests, as she carries a virus that is capable of wiping out the entire human race. Criminal networks aiming at new biotechnological markets and post-millenarian sects who dream of genetically creating a new Messiah set out on their trail.

Produced by Alain Goldman for Légende Entreprises, the exciting techno thriller is being co-produced by Kassovitz’s MNP Entreprise, Canal + and US outfit 20th Century Fox, with the participation of Czech company Okko Production.

The €50m plus budget film will shoot in Prague until April 11 and its DoP is Thierry Arbogast (who previously worked with Kassovitz and Légende on The Crimson Rivers).

Fox has acquired rights for the US, the UK and Asia, while StudioCanal will handle sales of Babylon A.D. in other territories, with deals already signed for Germany, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Scandinavia, Russia, Central Europe and Turkey.

Mars Distribution will release the film in French cinemas sometime in 2008.

(Translated from French)

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