Not yet releasedThis summer saw filming begin on the first adaptation of hit author Cornelia Funke's cult book series Die wilden Huehner (“The Wild Chicks”) by the German family entertainment specialists "par excellence" producer Uschi Reich and Bavaria Film.
The "Wild Chicks" are five girls aged between 11 and 12 who live on the edge of a city in North Germany and are inseparable best friends. They think Robbie Williams, Italian food, piano lessons, social engagement and their teacher Frau Rose (played by Veronica Ferres) are all cool, while their deadliest enemies are the gang of boys called the "Pygmies". All hell breaks loose one day when one of the Chicks learns that her grandma is planning to slaughter her chickens – the girls' beloved mascots!
"Originally, we had the idea of putting the adult world more into focus, but the charm of these books is that this world is seen through the Chicks' eyes and reflected in the girls' lives," Reich explains.
"Cornelia Funke writes such wonderful dialogues and the girls are so well characterized that we could take on a lot of lines of dialogue for the screenplay I wrote with Guezin Kar," she adds.
"I think Cornelia is a marvelous writer so it is no surprise for me that she is a cult author," Reich continues. "Cornelia saw the screenplay and gave her comments; we have also been in regular contact with her during the development and sent her the casting tapes."
While post-production work was set to be done back in Bavaria, principal photography was staged completely in North Rhine-Westphalia between Cologne and Xanten, in the Ruhr region and the Lower Rhine region. The choice of location made sense since Funke, whose international children's bestseller Tintenherz is set to be given the Hollywood big screen treatment by New Line, hails from this region. "The Chicks come from the big town, but the grandma (played by veteran German actress Doris Schade) lives in the countryside, so that is why we needed the wide, open, flat countryside that one can find in the Lower Rhine," Reich explains.
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