Bauer Martinez’s Crash Bandits delays Thailand shoot

Bauer Martinez’s Crash Bandits has pushed back filming in Thailand to January 2007 to allow for longer pre-production time, according to government agency Thailand Film Office.
The John McTiernan-directed big-budget action adventure feature was originally scheduled for a three-month shoot in southern Thailand from mid-February through local fixer Kantana.

The project was expected to bring in a significant $5.1m (200m baht) in local spend, comparable to the large revenues generated by Oliver Stone’s Alexander shot in 2004, and to re-establish Thailand as an international film hub after a year-long slump.

Last year, earnings from foreign feature shoots dropped by 40% to $6.2m (244.6m baht) due to a series of devastating events such as the 2004 tsunami which took thousands of lives and destroyed much of popular locations such as Krabi and Phuket in the south.

Nevertheless, French director Alain Berberian last week started the camera rolling for Fix Production’s $17.8m (Euros 15.m) Treasure Island, making it the first international production to shoot in Thailand this year.

French actor Gerard Jugnot and actress Alice Taglioni are currently filming on the Krabi set, which features a 30 m long pirate boat built especially for the shoot. ‘Thailand is the location for about 60% of the film. We’ve scheduled a six-week shoot in the south from Krabi to Trang, which is expected to generate a local spend of approximately US$2 million,’ says executive producer Georges Langlois who coordinated the shoot through his Bangkok-based company Flash Cineservices.

In addition, Hong Kong director Oxide Pang is currently shooting his latest psychological thriller Diary in Thailand while his brother Danny is set to start filming his thriller Forest of Death also in the same country later this week.

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