Australia attracts The Moon & the Sun

09 August, 2013 by Don Groves

Pierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy and Fan Bingbing are attached to star in The Moon & the Sun, a Hollywood film which will shoot in Australia and France.

The producer, Bill Mechanic of Pandemonium Films, told IF he will probably shoot a second film Down Under, WW2 drama Hacksaw Ridge (aka The C.O.).


The news is a feather in the cap for Ausfilm, which organised Mechanic’s trip to Oz two weeks ago to scout locations, inspect studio facilities and meet key crew, as part of its program of in-bound visits for offshore producers.

Based on a novel by Vonda McIntyre, The Moon & the Sun is an adult fairytale centring on Louis XIV, who brings a mermaid into captivity in order to steal its life force. The King’s quest is complicated when he brings to Court the daughter of the mistress he always loved and the creature seeks out the girl. When the girl, Marie-Josephe, discovers what her father intends to do, she sets out to free the mermaid.

Brosnan will play the King, with Fan Bingbing as the mermaid, a Gollum-type digital creation. Nighy will play a character named Pere de Chaise. The girl hasn’t been cast yet.

Mechanic wrote the screenplay after revisions by Barry Berman, James Schamus and Ellen Harrington. The director is Sean Patrick McNamara, whose credits include Soul Surfer, Bratz and Raise Your Voice.

“We are going to shoot in Versailles and then the studio and tank work in Australia this spring,” said Mechanic, a former chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment during the era of Titanic, X-Men, Moulin Rouge!, Independence Day,  Fight Club, There's Something About Mary, True Lies and Die Hard with a Vengeance.

“The creative work done on The Great Gatsby and The Wolverine convinced me that the production plan not only would work, but there were so many talented artists in Australia for my movie that it might even be best made here,“ he said. “Originally it was the financing, which is necessary as the film is being made independently and couldn’t be done without subsidies, but the department heads I met made the decision an easy one.”

Hacksaw Ridge chronicles the battle for Okinawa's Maeda Escarpment in WW2 and the heroic actions of aid-man PFC Desmond Doss, for which he was decorated with the Medal of Honor. Robert Schenkkan penned the original drafts and Randall Wallace (Braveheart, We Were Soldiers) is writing the screenplay.

Mechanic said it will “most likely” shoot in Australia early next year, adding, “That makes sense since it’s being done on a tight budget and we shot The Thin Red Line there and HBO shot The Pacific in Australia.”