The actor has flown Down Under for a 10-day shoot to film his part in new movie The Killer Elite, based on The Feathermen novel by famed British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Movie crews shut off an area of Melbourne on Tuesday (06Jul10) to film De Niro's scenes, and they baffled onlookers by transforming the sidewalk into a street from the French capital - placing Parisian phone booths, street signs and information boards along the road.
The street was also bedecked with vintage cars to transport De Niro back into the 1970s.
The film's executive producer, Christopher Mapp, recently told TheAge.com they will be using the Australian city as a backdrop for most of their foreign location filming: "We've found elements of the Middle East, Paris, the U.K. here. We'll be shooting elements of true locations, too, but I challenge audiences to pick which is which."
Source: Omnilab Media, The Jim Henson Company
In a joint announcement by Omnilab Media's Christopher Mapp and The Jim Henson Company's Lisa Henson, Australian based Omnilab Media is teaming up with The Jim Henson Company to bring the fantasy sequel Power of the Dark Crystal to the big screen in stereoscopic 3D.
Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig, writers and directors of Undead and most recently, Daybreakers, have come aboard to direct the screenplay written by Australian Craig Pearce (Moulin Rouge!, Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet) based on an original script by Annette Duffy and David Odell. The legendary fantasy artist Brian Froud will reprise his role as conceptual designer of the film, which will use a mix of live action and traditional puppetry combined with visual and special effects produced entirely in Australia. Omnilab-affiliated Iloura (Where the Wild Things Are, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark) has already begun work on the film's complex CGI elements. With this team in place, next steps will be to secure worldwide distribution.
Michael Spierig said, "We feel a tremendous amount of responsibility in telling this story with the same meticulous care that Jim Henson and Frank Oz gave the 1982 original." Added Peter Spierig, "This is a chance to take the world of puppetry into the modern age by using modern techniques (like motion capture CGI) and the tried and true methods (like puppetry and animatronics) to create a one hundred percent real world that is unique to The Dark Crystal."
Set hundreds of years after the events of the first movie when the world has once again fallen into darkness, Power of the Dark Crystal follows the adventures of a mysterious girl made of fire who, together with a Gelfling outcast, steals a shard of the legendary Crystal in an attempt to reignite the dying sun that exists at the center of the planet.