Christoph Waltz to direct first feature

'Up and Away' is based on his own script

Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, whose career is red hot after winning the best supporting actor Oscar as a Nazi officer in "Inglorious Basterds," will make his feature directing debut on the German-language movie "Auf Und Davon" ("Up and Away"), based on a script he wrote. Waltz also might play a role.

The movie for Fox International Prods., is about a woman who is the ruthless host of a dating show competition. She finds herself in over her head when the show's romantic story line bumps into her own feelings for a contestant.

"This love story reflects Christoph's formidable sense of humor," said Gabriela Bacher, who oversees Fox International Prods. in Germany and brought the project to the studio.

The movie will be loosely based on Meike Winnemuth and Peter Praschl's German-language novel "Auf und Davon."

The film will not necessarily be seen outside of German-speaking countries. Fox executives first discussed it with Waltz shortly after "Inglorious Basterds" premiered at Cannes. Waltz has been working on the script for some time, and previously directed for German television.

"While Christoph's rise to international stardom will continue," said Sanford Panitch, president of Fox International Prods., "we are very proud to collaborate with him on his very own project."

Waltz will be seen in the Fox 2000 movie "Water for Elephants" in the role of an animal trainer. He has also completed production in Columbia Pictures' "The Green Hornet," and is considering other roles, including "A Little War of Our Own."

With these projects in the pipeline, Waltz most likely will not direct "Auf Und Davon" until at least 2011.
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