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New Zealand Censor Bans Elijah Wood Slasher Pic ‘Maniac’

By | Wednesday July 24, 2013 @ 2:24am PDT

The psychopath played by Elijah Wood in serial killer pic Maniac is no Frodo, and the Kiwi government has taken note, banning the movie from being released theatrically. New Zealand’s Office of Film and Literature Classification says Maniac can be shown only if it’s being used in a tertiary media, a film studies course or screened as part of a festival. And in each case, the audience must be over 18. Directed by Franck Khalfoun and produced by The Artist‘s Thomas Langmann, Maniac is a remake of William Lustig’s 1980 grindhouse classic. It premiered in Cannes in 2012 and was released last month in the U.S. by IFC Midnight. It’s shot entirely from the POV of Wood’s character and the OFLC decision says that may be injurious to the public good because the viewer is put in the position of the killer. The ruling also means the film cannot be released on DVD. The ban beyond festival screenings “is an insult to the intelligence of the adult population of New Zealand and does little more than to serve as an open invitation to illegally pirate the film. We are flabbergasted,” said Neil Foley of Melbourne, Australia-based distributor Monster Pictures. In a blog post, Monster said it will “explore every option” to have the ban revoked, “but at this stage it ain’t looking good.” Maniac is the first film … Read More »

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Cannes: ‘Maniac’ Director Franck Khalfoun Sets ‘I-Lived’ As Next Project

EXCLUSIVE: Franck Khalfoun will next direct I-Lived, his follow-up to the Elijah Wood-starring Maniac. Based on his own script, the movie centers on a young online app reviewer whose latest assignment mysteriously improves his life, but also starts to tear him apart. Ehud Bleiberg, Alix Taylor and Pavlina Hatoupis are producing along with the director. Tiffany Boyle and Nicholas Donnermeyer are executive producing. Bleiberg Entertainment’s Compound B division kicks off sales next week in Cannes and principal photography is set to start at the end of May. Khalfoun got his start working closely with French helmer Alexandre Aja and acted in the director’s High Tension and Piranha. His Maniac, a reboot of the cult 1980 serial killer movie, had an official out of competition screening berth in Cannes last year. IFC Midnight acquired it for the U.S. Khalfoun’s other directing credits include P2 and Wrong Turn At Tahoe. He is represented by Sara Bottfeld and Jess Rosenthal of Industry Entertainment.

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