Sci-fi thriller to be shot in SA

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Copy of cz Bérénice Marlohe 20 Joel Ryan/Invision/AP Former Bond Girl B�r�nice Marlohe. File photo: Joel Ryan

Cape Town - Prisoners of War, a sci-fi thriller about humankind’s last stand against an alien invasion, starring former Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe, is the latest Hollywood production set to shoot in South Africa.

French actress Marlohe gained international attention after starring opposite Daniel Craig in 2012’s Skyfall.

Marlohe will be the second Bond Girl to have filmed in South Africa this year.

Olga Kurylenko, who starred in 2008’s Quantum of Solace, finished shooting her new film Momentum in Cape Town last month.

In addition to Marlohe, production company Voltage Pictures announced that Prisoners of War will star Australian actor Alex Russell, who recently featured in the films Carrie and Chronicle. The latter was also shot in Cape Town.

The film will be set in a “war-ravaged African countryside”, where an US soldier (Russell) and a French foreign aid worker (Marlohe) team up to survive an alien onslaught.

Its unclear what the aliens will look like, but they could resemble large robots, based on hints by director Joe Miale, and a teaser poster for the film on the Voltage Pictures website shows a large robot.

“Alien war machines have been stomping around in my head for far too long – I’m eager to set them loose on the big screen and have them take over the world,” Miale has said.

Miale, who was in the country to scout locations in May including the Cape Town Film Studios complex and the Cradle of Humankind, posted on his Twitter account this week that he had arrived in Joburg from Los Angeles.

“Plotting and planning in South Africa”, he wrote next to a photo of a hand-drawn storyboard.

According to Miale’s website, other Prisoners of War producers include Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Ben Pugh and Rory Aitken.

Nicolas Chartier of Voltage Pictures said in interview with Deadline that the film could be the start of a sci-fi franchise.

“Prisoners Of War is set in an imaginative and dangerous world, with a story that is both epic and intimate – much along the lines of District 9 or the first Terminator,” he said.

The film will be Miale’s first feature. He has directed music videos for groups including Junoon, That Noise and Woven, as well as commercials and TV episodes.

* In other local film news, South African producer Anton Ernst, who is co-producing The Big Shoe starring Twilight Saga star Kristen Stewart, tweeted this week that the film was about to go in pre-production.

The romantic comedy, co-starring Elizabeth Banks and Jim Sturgess, will be filmed in Cape Town later this year.

According to production company Bankside Films, the film follows a “creatively stifled shoe designer” – played by Sturgess – as he tries to revive his family shoe design company.

He finds inspiration from a “foot model and sex worker”, played by Stewart.

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