July 30, 2008

Funding Fixed for Kiwi Film

By ANDREW, Kelly

FILMING of the movie version of children's classic Under the Mountain will start next month now that a funding glitch has been resolved.

The movie, starring New Zealand actor Sam Neill, was put on hold in April after British company Capitol Films withdrew its substantial investment in the project.

But director Jonathan King said yesterday that alternative funding had been found through the Screen Production Investment Fund and from international investors.

Shooting on the movie would go ahead in Auckland from August 11. "We are all go."

King said Neill and Mad Max actor Bruce Spence had signed up for the film. It is based on Maurice Gee's 1979 fantasy novel about two red-headed twins who have to confront evil slug-like creatures living under Auckland's volcanoes.

Wellington's Weta Workshop would contribute creature design and special effects for the film.

The story was made into a popular television series in the 1980s and was recently issued on DVD.

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