PRODUCTION: Conan filming in Bulgaria

By Pavlina Jeleva

    The Nu Image/Millennium/Lionsgate Conanremake starring Jason Momoa has begun a 12-week shoot in Sofia.

    Based on a script by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer and directed by Marcus Nispel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th) the new Conan version is considered to be Avi Lerner's (Nu Image/Millennium/) financially most ambitious project. It is also the most expensive foreign film ever shot in Bulgaria with huge preproduction at the Sofia based Nu Boyana Studios (www.nuboyana.com) over the past year.

    American, French, UK and Bulgarians specialists are among the 1,500 members crew. Key positions including assistants to the director and the DoP are being filled by Bulgarians (Petia Evtimova & Svetoslav Velichkov, Hristo Alesandrov & Ivan Vazov.) The reconstruction of a fantasy environment from 5,000 years ago when "the Ocean absorbed Atlantis" involved over 200 workers guided by Bulgarian set designers Ivan Ranguelov, Ivailo Nikolov and Valia Mladenova. Numerous local stands-in, stuntmen, craftsmen and children are taking part in the mass scenes of the production. The Bulgarian actors Nikolay Mutafchiev, Nikolay Stanchev, Diana Lubenova, Koze Kalkin, Kiril Evremov and others also take part in the prehistoric epic.

    The interiors are being shot in several of the eight Nu Boyana Film stages. and the exteriors are being filmed on location in Bulgaria. By the end of April the production will move to the north part of the Black sea shore at the Bolata beach. Further locations will be on the Golden Bridges of the Vitosha mountain and the Bistriza district near Sofia.