Medienboard funds 'Assassin,' Schweiger pic

5:00 AM PST 04/14/2008 by Karsten Kastelan, AP

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BERLIN -- Local subsidy body Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg announced a new round of production funds, with the two biggest individual subsidies going to James McTeigue's "Ninja Assassin" and local star Til Schweiger's "1_ Ritter -- Auf der Suche nach der hinreissenden Prinzessin Herzelinde."

McTeigue, who directed "V for Vendetta" at Studio Babelsberg, will begin shooting at the end of April. Location scouting for the film has been reported throughout Berlin during the past few weeks.

Heading the cast, which also includes Naomie Harris ("28 Days Later"), is popular Korean entertainer Jung Ji-hoon, aka "Rain."

The film, which received 651,000 euros ($1 million) from Medienboard, is a co-production between Silver Pictures and Studio Babelsberg. Joel Silver and the Wachowski siblings are producing. Warner Bros. pictures will release "Ninja Assassin" in the U.S.

"1_ Ritter," a romp through the Middle Ages directed by Schweiger, is the German actor-director's follow-up to his smash hit "Keinohrhasen."

Production will start May 15, with the schedule allowing for 38 days of shooting in Saxony-Anhalt and Bavaria. Apart from Schweiger, the film features local comedians Rick Kavanian and Dieter Hallervorden, actress Julia Dietze and television host Thomas Gottschalk.

The project received 750,000 euros ($1.2 million) in funding from Medienboard and will be released nationwide by Warner Bros. Germany, with sales organization EEAP handling Eastern European territories.

In this funding round, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg subsidized 26 projects with a total of 4.9 million euros ($ 7.7 million).
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