De Niro to star in Killer Elite

17 May, 2010 by IF

By Emma Brown

Legendary actor Robert De Niro will star in the $66 million action thriller The Killer Elite, which began filming in Melbourne last week.


It follows the recent news that Clive Owen has also joined the cast of the Omnilab-backed production and will star alongside fellow action star Jason Statham, as well as a long list of Australians including Ben Mendelsohn.

The Killer Elite follows the exploits of a group of Black Ops agents for hire who must hunt down and destroy a rogue cell of SAS killer assassins and their covert handlers. The script is based on Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ 1993 non fiction novel The Feather Men.

The film has been funded through the Producer Offset – which returns up to 40 per cent of qualifying expenditure – and with rebate assistance from Film Victoria.

It is likely to be the biggest budget Australian film since Alex Proyas' sci-fi feature Knowing began production in early 2008. The industry has been lobbying to increase the level of incentives in an effort to attract (and produce) bigger-budget projects, which have dwindled as overseas territories have launched their own lucrative incentive schemes and the value of the Australian dollar has climbed in recent times.

The Killer Elite will be produced by Michael Boughen through Omnilab’s Australian production arm, Ambience Entertainment. It also recently announced plans to produce a sequel to The Dark Crystal, which will be directed by the Spierig brothers.

Omnilab Media managing director and executive producer of the film Christopher Mapp is currently in Cannes, where film sales are being handled by Inferno Entertainment.