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TORONTO — The Helen Mirren-starring Middle East drama Deadlocked from Brit indie producer Andy Harries and Canadian partner Rob Heydon is on.
Harries’ Left Bank Pictures has pacted with Heydon’s Ecstasy Pictures to shoot the $10 million theatrical feature as a Canadian-British co-production in spring 2012.
Mirren, who worked with Harries on The Queen and Prime Suspect 7, has been attached to the project since it was first developed out of BBC Films four years ago.
Philip Martin is to direct Deadlocked, which sees Mirren play a secular Jewish British doctor who investigates the sudden death of her young daughter, a freelance TV journalist, in the streets of Gaza City, only to discover a secret life her daughter led.
The film has backing from BBC Films and Lionsgate UK.
Ecstasy Pictures on board as a co-producer allows Deadlocked to tap Canadian tax credits by shooting some interiors in Canada, posting the picture here and sending a Canadian crew to the Middle East to help shoot the picture.
As long as a film is a certified co-production, Canadian rules allow up to 25% of the total budget spent in a third country to be eligible for tax rebates.
The producers earlier scouted Jordan as a location for the Deadlocked shoot, but shelved those plans when civil unrest broke out there in the wake of the Arab Spring.
Heydon’s $5 million Ecstasy, the film based on Irvine Welsh‘s follow up novel to Trainspotting and starring Kristin Kreuk and Billy Boyd, is expected to have its world premiere at the London Film Festival in October.
A four-minute short from Ecstasy was shopped to buyers at Cannes.
London will give the film’s international sales agent, Intandem Films, its first chance to shop the finished product.
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