12. December 2006

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StudioCanal’s sci-fi thriller Babylon A.D. will be the first feature film to shoot at a new 4,000-square-meter soundstage at Barrandov Studios in Prague. Mathieu Kassovitz will direct the film, which will star Vin Diesel and Vincent Cassel. A Peugeot automobile commercial will inaugurate the new soundstage before year’s end. Kassovitz’s crew are scheduled to begin work on New Year’s Day. In spring, the new facilities will host the filming of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. The new stages complement Barrandov’s existing 9,156 square meters of stages on the Barrandov lot proper and an additional 2,576 square meters at the studio’s Hostivar location on the other side of town. Barrandov Studio chairman Tomas Chrenek told journalists yesterday (Dec 11) that the cost of constructing the facilities was ultimately $9.5m, roughly twice the expected price tag when construction began in spring. Chrenek declined to comment on the reasons for the higher bill, but maintained that the company still planned to refinance the construction loan within seven years as originally planned. The Barrandov Studio board of directors was scheduled to meet later in the day. While no Barrandov official could comment on the agenda, one likely point of discussion was finding a replacement for general director Veslava Piegzova, who stepped down in late November. Piegzova replaced Radomir Docekal in May 2005.