Studio Babelsberg co-production UNKNOWN tops U.S. box office

21.02.2011

The Studio Babelsberg-produced action thriller Unknown opened in the USA at number one at the box office. The fast-paced Berlin film with Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger in the leads beat off strong competition from such films as the DreamWorks production I Am Number Four and the 3D animation film Gnomeo and Juliet. Moreover, the President’s Day holiday weekend isn’t yet over, so that one can expect an even higher weekend box office.

Unknown resulted from the partnership between the successful US producer Joel Silver and Studio Babelsberg. Studio Babelsberg took a stake in Joel Silver‘s production company Dark Castle Entertainment in 2008.

Apart from the actors, the city of Berlin is also the star: Unknown is a fast-paced trip through the streets of the capital and will draw international attention to the region.

Apart from the actors, the city of Berlin is also the star: Unknown is a fast-paced trip through the streets of the capital and will draw international attention to the region. The film was shot at numerous prominent locations throughout the city, including Kreuzberg, on the Oberbaumbrücke, in Friedrichstraße, at the Central Station, Pariser Platz and the Hotel Adlon. Babelsberg’s set constructors recreated the Adlon’s lobby on a scale of 1:1 in the traditional Marlene Dietrich sound stage in Studio Babelsberg. This is where the action shots and pyrotechnics were done since much of the Adlon is destroyed in the film.

Last Friday, Unknown celebrated its European premiere at the Berlinale to enthusiastic applause. Set completely in Berlin, the film received spontaneous applause at several points during the screening which was attended by actors Diane Kruger, Sebastian Koch and Karl Markovics as well the producers Andrew Rona, Sarah Meyer, Charlie Woebcken, Christoph Fisser, Henning Molfenter and Rodolphe Buét. Film fans in Germany just have to be patient for another 10 days. Kinowelt will open the film throughout Germany on 3 March.

Synopsis:

When Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson), who comes out of a coma after a serious car accident, his nightmare has only just begun: his wife Elisabeth (January Jones) no longer recognises him and another man (Aidan Quinn) has taken Harris’ place at her side. Not only as her husband, but also as a budding scientists who is due to give an important lecture at a conference. As if that wasn’t enough, he is also being pursued by a hit-man (Stipe Erceg). What has happened to him? Harris begins to have doubts about his verstad. In order to win back his wife and his old life, he traces Gina (Diane Kruger), a taxi-driver who had saved him after the accident. She and the former Stasi agent Ernst Jürgen (Bruno Ganz) are his only allies in the struggle to reclaim his identity against an all-powerful opponent.

Star power aplenty was gathered in front of the camera for the action thriller Unknown in Berlin. Apart from Liam Neeson (96 Hours) and Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) in the leads, Mad Men star January Jones, Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) as well as an outstanding German with Bruno Ganz (Downfall), Sebastian Koch (The Lives Of Others), Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters) and Stipe Erceg (The Baader Meinhof Complex) cast a spell over the audience from the first to last minute. The film’s suspense-laden story is based on the eponymous novel by the bestseller author Didier van Cauwelaert. The gripping thriller is already the third collaboration by the Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) with the producer Joel Silver (Dark Castle).

Unknown was backed by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the German Federal Film Fund.