Gods of Egypt, Alex Proyas’ fantasy action-adventure starring Gerard Butler, Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Geoffrey Rush and Brenton Thwaites, started shooting on Thursday at the Fox Studios.
The budget is reportedly $150 million, financed by US studio Summit Entertainment with support from the NSW government’s Investment Attraction Scheme.
When he announced the grant, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said the production will create an estimated 400 jobs in the local industry and contribute around $75 million in direct production expenditure to the NSW economy.
Stoner said several of the State’s visual effects companies would be used to create the film’s sets, landscapes and creatures.
Entertainment One (formerly Hopscotch eOne) gets the Australian rights via its output deal with Summit. Based on Egyptian mythology, the screenplay is by Proyas, Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, the team behind Universal’s Dracula Untold, which opens here in October.
Thwaites plays Bek, a young thief who joins the god Horus (Coster-Waldau) on a quest through the palaces and pyramids of ancient Egypt where they encounter the Sun god Ra (Rush) and the dark god Set (Butler), who killed and mutilated his brother Osiris. Horus, the son of Osiris, seeks revenge.
French actress Elodie Yung (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is cast as the goddess Hathor and Chadwick Boseman is Thoth, the god of wisdom.
The Oz cast includes Courtney Eaton (Mad Max: Fury Road), Goran D. Kleut, Bryan Brown, Rachael Blake, Robyn Nevin, Bruce Spence, Alexander England, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Ya Ya Deng, Emma Booth and Paula Arundell.
Still unresolved is a dispute between the producers and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, which objected to an agreement signed by a small number of crew during pre-production.
The MEAA will oppose the agreement when the producers seek to register it with the Fair Work Commission at a hearing due to be held on April 3.
The producers are Proyas’ Mystery Clock Cinema and Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk, with Proyas’ long-time business partner Topher Dow as executive producer.