Germany developing Superhero, based on New Zealand book

Bavaria Pictures is producing Superhero, a fantasy drama based on the best-selling novel Death of a Superhero by New Zealand author and filmmaker Anthony McCarten, who is set to direct from his own script, Variety reported.

Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Germany's Jessica Schwarz (Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family) are attached to star in the story, about a teenage comic-book artist suffering from leukemia who finds escape from the harsh realities of life in his illustrated adventures.

McCarten's novel has found critical acclaim and eager audiences in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, where it picked up the Austrian Youth Literature Prize last year.

Astrid Kahmke and Philipp Kreuzer of Bavaria Pictures, the feature-film production unit of Munich-based media company Bavaria Film, are co-producing with McCarten and Angela Littlejohn.

The movie, budgeted at between $7 million and $10 million, will shoot most of the live-action scenes in New Zealand, with animated sequences of the comic-book world rendered by Michael Coldewey's Munich-based Trixter Film.

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