'Bubblegum' stretches to six countries

Contract will make use of co-production treaties

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CANNES -- The full reach of Singapore's network of international co-production treaties will be called on in order to produce "Bubblegum Crisis," a live-action adaptation of a Japanese cyberpunk anime series.

Producers from six countries signed off Thursday in Cannes on an accord to make the $30 million English-language picture, which is set for delivery in early 2012. Wrangled by Benjamin Toh of Singapore's Axxis International, who acts as exec producer, the deal brings together Tokyo-based Anime International Company Australia's Arclight Films, Canada's Wizzfilms, China's Infotainment China Media Co. and the U.K.'s Latec International.

The contract will make use of the Singapore-Australia, Australia-Canada, Canada-Singapore, China-Australia and China-Canada co-production treaties, potentially enabling the film to tap into soft money from the national governments and also qualify for mainland China release. A spokesman for Axxis said that some 70% of the finance is now in place. Principal photography will be carried out in Australia, with postproduction in Canada by Mokko Studio.

Director and cast have yet to be decided. The spokesman said that "Crisis" will feature two male leads and a quartet of female action babes -- two Caucasian and two Asian.

Infotainment has distribution rights in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, while Arclight will handle remaining international sales outside the co-production territories.
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