Producers “want to send a message,” said Stephane Martinet of the Paris regional film commission.
With major film shoots including Fifty Shades Freed and Bollywood’s Befikre lined up, filming in Paris is rebounding following the terror attacks that rocked the city in November.
Both blockbusters are in the works. Freed, the next installment in Fifty Shades trilogy starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, will shoot for several days in Paris “within the first six months” of this year, according to film officials.
“It seems there is some sort of resilience among the film industry. Producers, in particular from the U.S., voiced their support to us after the attacks and reinforced their willingness to pursue their projects,” he said. “They want to send a message.”
“The first week after the terror attack, shooting froze, but one week later it started up again,” said Melanie Chebance, producers’ liaison for Film France. “There is an increased security level for everyone, but film shoots are proceeding as usual.”
She added: “Paris is a big production hub for France and internationally, and that hasn’t changed. For example, at the moment, there are 10 crews on the streets of Paris.”
Universal has now locked in its first new cast member to join its highly successful “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise, with production set to start this spring.
Kim Basinger is set to play the key role of Elena Lincoln, Christian Grey’s Business partner and former lover in E.L James’ “Fifty Shades Darker,” sources tell Variety.
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are returning to reprise their roles of Anastasia Steele and Grey, respectively, with James Foley taking over directing reigns.
Luke Grimes, Eloise Mumford and Max Martini are also returning to the cast, with Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti producing along with James and Marcus Viscidi. Niall Leonard and James are penning the script.
The character of Lincoln was hinted at in the first installment, setting the stage for a big reveal in the second.
Universal is planning to shoot “Fifty Shades Darker” and the final pic, “Fifty Shades Freed,” back-to-back, so it was important to lock down cast before production began on the sequel.