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A NEW production company has begun pre-production on a feature film to be shot in Cambodia with an estimated budget of US$70 million.

Thomas Magyar, the film’s executive producer, said yesterday that the movie, The Great Khmer Empire, would be set in the Angkorian period and aim to rival historic epics such as Hollywood films Troy and Alexander.

“This is a big movie. The estimated budget is $70 million,” he said.

Producers planned to approach Angelina Jolie to play the female lead, and John Cena, a seven-time World
Wrestling Entertainment champion and actor, to play the male lead.

Magyar, who is also CEO of the International Bodyguard and Security Services' Association in South East Asia, said the film would be produced by the company Parable Studio Green Asia, a collaboration among filmmakers from Cambodia, Hungaria and Hollywood.

He said that although the company had not yet secured all of the necessary funding for the project, he expected the film to be completed within the next three years.

“We have already started the storyboard and the script,” he said, and added that Hungarian director Gabor Forgacs and Cambodian director Thourn Sinan had already “come aboard” the project.

Som Sokun, secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said yesterday that the ministry had not yet given official permission for the film, but that its general policy was to encourage foreign productions.
“We are happy to welcome the Hollywood film production,” he said.
Magyar said he planned to meet with officials at the ministry on Monday to discuss the project further.
The announcement came at a press conference held at the Ministry of Information and attended by American actor and world karate champion Tony Schiena.
According to the Internet Movie Database, Schiena is known as “the bad boy of karate” due to “his unorthodox training methods and aggressive fighting style”.
It was unclear exactly what role Schiena would play in the production of The Great Khmer Empire, but he said that he intended to “help in whatever way I can”.
Schiena said he also planned to work on environmental, anti-human trafficking and other projects during his stay in the Kingdom..

Action star on board

Action star Tony Shiena in the 2004 movie Wake of Death



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