From the World Entertainment News Network:


       - IN MALTA From WENN news editor KEVIN LEWIN in London

       JON BON JOVI and HARVEY KEITEL are set to boost tourism in Malta thanks
       to the Mediterranean holiday island's offshore water tanks.

       Sea-faring movies such as RAISE THE TITANIC and pirate flop CUTTHROAT
       ISLAND have already made use of Malta's famous deep-water tanks - which
       allow movie makers to shoot from dry land with an open-sea backdrop.

       And now Bon Jovi, Keitel and MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY's latest movie
       project - war film U-571 is set to make use of a new underwater facility in

       A Maltese Embassy spokesman says, "The tanks have become big tourist spots
       because people love to see where and how the big films are shot. We hope U-571
       has the same impact."

       From the Reuters newswire:

       Jon Movie News

       FEATURE - WWII U-boat movie gets true-grit treatment
       09:13 p.m Feb 11, 1999 Eastern
       By Jude Webber

       ROME, Feb 12 (Reuters) - ``Saving Private Ryan'' did it for the Normandy
       landings. ``U-571,'' a new World War Two epic adventure, aims to do it for the
       battle of the Atlantic.

       The film tells of a bold bid by U.S. sailors to steal the German coding device,
       Enigma, from a stranded U-boat in 1942 and so to turn the tide of the war.

       ``The texture of the movie is completely authentic,'' director Jonathan Mostow told
       Reuters Television at Rome's legendary Cinecitta studios where filming started last

       ``The guys who were on the submarine were young, like our cast. All the details of
       the submarines, all the technical aspects, the commands issued, the type of things
       that happen are all based on reality. This is the way it was,'' he said.

       Mostow's movie, starring Hollywood tough guy Harvey Keitel, Matthew
       McConaughey and singer-turned-actor Jon Bon Jovi, is veteran Italian producer
       Dino De Laurentiiis' 600th film.

       Set as the Allies were reeling from British prime minister Winston Churchill's
       warning that they were about to lose the war in the sea, the film takes its inspiration
       from two operations in which German U-boats were captured by U.S. and British

       ``Like in 'Saving Private Ryan', the story is a story that weaves together a lot of
       incidents that are based in fact into a fictional story,'' Mostow said, stressing the
       qualities he wanted to bring to the fore were ``realism and authenticity.''


       ``I have to confess -- I feel moved,'' De Laurentiis told reporters in front of the
       replica of a German submarine in Cinecitta's Studio Five.

       ``The last news conference I did here in this studio was for the filming of 'War and
       Peace' in 1954, 45 years ago,'' said the diminutive 79-year-old. ``I'm happy I'm still

       The price of making movies has shot up in that time -- De Laurentiis said ``U-571''
       would cost $90 million, mostly because engineers had to construct replica U.S. and
       German submarines.

       ``We searched for World War Two submarines everywhere in the world but didn't
       find one so we had to construct one in the shipyards in Malta,'' he said. The film will
       shoot on location in the Mediterranean island later this year.

       Mostow said the crew had ``spared no expense and made every effort to ensure
       the texture is real.'' One stroke of luck was finding a mint-condition, original Enigma
       in Dortmund, Germany.

       One of the production designers, Goetz Weidner, worked on the
       German-submarine movie ``Das Boot'' and scriptwriter David Ayer is a former
       U.S. Navy sonar operator who served on a nuclear attack submarine during the
       Cold War.

       >From the outside, the sub sets where the interior shots will be filmed look like
       large grey tanks with green and red tubes feeding into them from above and
       wooden planks outside.

       But step inside and it's like going back in time.

       In the German U-Boat, a period gas mask is left on one of the narrow bunks. The
       smell of grease and paint hangs in the engine room and there is an old-fashioned,
       German-labelled tin of condensed milk in the galley kitchen.

       Designers have built a special machine onto which sections of the sets can be
       mounted to simulate underwater movement.

       ``The most difficult part of the film will be the sequences we film on water,''
       Mostow said. ``Water is not a friend to film, they don't mix. But we have absolutely
       the best people. We have the guy from 'Titanic' who's our marine coordinator, who
       did 'Waterworld', who did 'Amistad' -- so we're in great hands.''

       Although James Cameron's ``Titanic'' won 11 Oscars, it also turned into the most
       expensive film ever made -- costing $200 million to make and another $100 million
       to promote, even more than ``Waterworld,'' Kevin Costner's 1995 flop that
       similarly ranks as one of Hollywood's most cash-guzzling pictures.

       ``Amistad,'' another boat movie, is not considered one of Steven Spielberg's major

       But Mostow said he was confident ``U-571'' would successfully negotiate the perils
       of running overbudget.

       ``You never know with water and we have Mother Nature you can't control but
       we'll make every attempt to keep ourselves from falling into the problems that, say,
       a movie like 'Waterworld' did,'' he said.


       ``U-571'' is the latest example of Hollywood's ongoing love-affair with World War
       Two. After ``Saving Private Ryan,'' Terrence Malick's long-awaited ``The Thin
       Red Line'' opened in the United States and is already a box-office hit.

       But Mostow insists submarine tales are something different and belong in the ``great
       tradition of sea stories'' that started with Homer's ``Odyssey.''

       To widen the appeal to the movie-going public and prevent ``U-571'' being
       pigeon-holed as a macho film for men, there are some well-known names and
       young, chiselled faces.

       ``What woman wouldn't want to see these gentlemen all sweaty and with their shirts
       off,'' Mostow joked, prompting a rare smile from Keitel -- who, pushing 60, is the
       odd man out.

       Keitel, who joined the Marine Corps after leaving school, said the patriotic story
       took him back to his Brooklyn childhood when he watched war films. ``I was trying
       to find my own courage, my own place in the world, watching grown men struggle.''

       He smiled wryly when the subject of his age came up. ``I play the senior enlisted
       man on the boat...and (supermodel) Cindy Crawford was not available,'' he said.

       Bon Jovi relished ``U-571'' as a departure from the boy-meets-girl film roles he has
       done to date. ``I've never been on a submarine. I'm claustrophobic,'' he laughed.
       ``Talk about facing your fears. So it's been a great learning curve already.''

       Mostow concluded: ``My ambition is simply to create a story that will appeal to
       modern audiences and give them some appreciation of the strategic issues, all in the
       context of making a big Hollywood entertainment movie.''
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