Millennium Media will begin production Thursday on the high-concept thriller Till Death starring Megan Fox at the company’s Nu Boyana film studios in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The feature, from Australian director S.K. Dale, (The Coatmaker) will be the first U.S. production to shoot at Nu Boyana since the novel coronavirus pandemic lockdown. The plot of the film sees Transformers star Fox play Emma, who is left handcuffed to her dead husband as part of a sick revenge plot.
Unable to unshackle, she has to survive as two killers arrive to finish her off. Eoin Macken, Aml Ameen, Callan Mulvey and Jack Roth co-star. Dale will direct from a script by Jason Carvey.
David Leslie Johnson is producing alongside Millennium’s Tanner Mobley, Les Weldon, Yariv Lerner, and Rob Van Norden. Executive producers include Millennium‘s Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, Jeffrey Greenstein, and Jonathan Yunger.
Till Death was initially set to begin principle photography this spring, but was put on hold due to the global pandemic. In recent months, film and television production has started up again across much of Europe. Nu Boyana reopened back in May for local and European productions.
Coordinating new COVID-19 safety procedures for a visiting U.S. production, abiding by local regulations as well as SAG’s guidelines however, proved complicated. Millennium said it was able to work with the Bulgarian government and its ministry of health to put together a custom set of protocols for the studio. These include mandatory COVID-19 tests for cast and crew prior to production, as well as during the shoot, social distancing on set and the wearing of masks for behind-the-camera staff.
“We are very excited and fortunate to be able to continue doing what we love: making movies,” said Mobley.
The Till Death start is another positive sign that production is gearing up again in Europe as lockdown measures ease here and companies figure out new workflows to accommodate hygienic regulations. To date, the bulk of production has been small-screen work, with Netflix restarting shows in Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Italy, and the U.K., Canal+ returning for season 2 of War of The Worlds in Wales and cameras rolling again in Italy’s Cinecitta studios for Sky‘s ancient Rome series Domina starring Liam Cunningham and Isabella Rossellini.
The new safety regulations favor set-based productions, like most TV series, and contained features, such as Till Death, which are easier to manage and contain. Larger-scale features, or those involving substantial cross-border travel, remain a challenge in the current environment.