The Moon Princess, a feature by former animation maven and three-time Emmy Award winner Gabor Csupo, is shooting entirely in Hungary, leaving most of its $30 million (€21.3 million) budget in the country.
Principal photography began Sept. 3 and continues for 50 shooting days. Locations include the Hungarian State Opera House, the Pilis forests, and a medieval castle in Csesznek. Several interior scenes are being shot on local sound stages.
Budapest-based Eurofilm Studio (http://www.kftv.com/company-10475.html) is providing production services. Eurofilm’s Gabor Varadi is serving as both line producer and second unit director. Worldwide sales are being handled by Velvet Octopus Sales (www.velvetoctopus.com).
The U.K.’s Spice Factory (www.spicefactory.co.uk), Australian Forgan-Smith Entertainment (www.forgan-smith.com) and Csupo’s own production company, Grand Allure Entertainment, were originally set to produce the film. But French and Hungarian companies, both unnamed, have joined to finance the film, which now stands as an Australian-French-Hungarian co-production.
Only special effects will be handled outside of Hungary, most likely in England.
Set in the 1840s, the film is based on Elizabeth Goudge’s 1946 children’s book “The Little White Horse,” the story of a 13-year-old’s adventure in a magical world from which she must banish an ancient curse. It marks the second fantasy feature for Csupo whose directorial debut earlier this year, The Bridge to Terrabithia, found gold for Walden Media (www.walden.com) and Disney (disney.go.com/disneypictures/index.html), earning $108 million worldwide.
The film stars Natasha McElhone and Tim Curry of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame. The filmmakers aim for a mid-2008 release date.
Hungarian emigrée Csupo left his homeland in 1979 and with his former wife Arlene Klasky established one of Hollywood’s most prolific animation studios, KlaskyCsupo (www.klaskycsupo.com). They created The Wild Thornberrys and Rugrats, and produced The Simpsons series.