February 27, 2024

Oscar winners Dustin Hoffman and Helen Hunt are attached to star in Peter Greenaway‘s drama “Lucca Mortis,” which has started filming in the Tuscan city of Lucca.

The new film by the 81-year-old iconoclastic British filmmaker and artist — known for arthouse hits such as “The Draughtsman’s Contract,” “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover” and “The Pillow Book” — is the tale of a New York writer (Hoffman), who in in 2001, following the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, takes a sabbatical to visit Lucca in search of his distant Italian origins. “Lucca Mortis” creates a sort of parallelism between the Twin Towers and the towers of Lucca, according to the Tuscany Film Commission website. Other details, including Hunt’s role, are being kept under wraps.

Tuscany Film Commission head Stefania Ippoliti said cameras started rolling earlier this month in Lucca, which is known for its medieval walls and towers, and Hoffman is expected to arrive “after the holidays.” More than 500 local extras are expected on set during the shoot.

“Lucca Mortis,” which according to the commission has a roughly €15 million budget ($16 million) will make use of 25 locations in Lucca, comprising exteriors and interiors, some in private historic buildings. The film is being produced by Facing East, the production and financing company formed by “The Revenant” producers Markus Barmettler and Philip Lee, which now has offices in Singapore, Los Angeles, Dublin, London, and Zurich. Recent Facing East titles include Liam Neeson thriller “In the Land of Saints and Sinners.” Italy’s Ada Bonvini is also executive producing through her company The Family.

In November, Greenaway received a special tribute at Amsterdam’s documentary film festival, IDFA, which screened a number of highlights from his richly varied oeuvre.

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