As a very quiet EFM winds down, TrustNordisk reports it’s had high interest on Mads Mikkelsen-starrer The Salvation. After pre-selling the movie in Cannes, a sizzle reel of Kristian Levring’s western was shown to buyers on Saturday morning in Berlin, adding deals in Australia/New Zealand (Madman) and Benelux (Wild Bunch). A multi-territory pact is in the offing. The English-language Danish western is co-written by Susanne Bier’s frequent collaborator, Anders Thomas Jensen. The revenge tale also stars Eva Green and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Sisse Graum Jørgensen produces for Zentropa Entertainments33 in co-production with South Africa’s Spier Films and the UK’s Forward Films. The Scandinavian release is set for August through Nordisk Film Distribution.
Jeongjung Kim and Gary Zhang of Aquamen Entertainment are moving into development on $40M 3D animated film, Kong. Billed as one of biggest animations ever made in an Asian country, the feature will be co-developed in Korea and with the backing of the Chinese Cultural Chamber of Commerce of the Private Sector. The sci-fi pic is based on the Asian tale of Sun Wukong, commonly called the Monkey King, and is adapted from the classic Chinese novel, Journey To The West. The material is oft-mined with the recent local Chinese hit The Monkey King also based upon it; as was last year’s biggest local grosser Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons. Kong is planned as the origin story of the titular character – who was born from molten rock in the earth’s core – and features aliens, robots and fantasy elements. A U.S. director is being sought.
Production and acquisitions executive Lars Wiebe has joined German distributor SquareOne Entertainment in the newly created role of head of German productions. The indie outfit has previously acquired U.S. product including titles like Lone Survivor and All Is Lost, and is also working with European fare like Philomena, Yves Saint Laurent and Grace Of Monaco. The hire of Wiebe is part of the company’s new strategy to enhance its production division. Wiebe is charged with sourcing properties for German co-productions as well as developing and acquiring German remake rights from international properties. He was most recently head of acquisitions and co-productions for Swiss production and financing company Millbrook Pictures and was a programmer for the Zurich Film Festival.