Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia to Take the Spotlight in Hollywood’s ‘The Bricklayer’
Thessaloniki and the wider Central Macedonia Region will feature in a new Hollywood film to start shooting on March 15, Central Macedonia Regional Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas announced this week.
Tzitzikostas met with Millennium Media producer Robert Van Norden, Central Macedonia Film Office officials and Vice Governor for Tourism and Culture Alexandros Thanos to discuss production details of the action-thriller The Bricklayer to be directed by Renny Harlin, feature Aaron Eckhart and Nina Dobrev, and hit the screens in 2023. Harlin is behind popular blockbusters such as Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger and Long Kiss Goodnight.
The production is set to create 1,000 jobs and contribute greatly to the promotion of the region. Scenes will be shot at the Millennium studio in Thermi, throughout the city of Thessaloniki, in Halkidiki and in several Central Macedonia areas.
At least 3,000 background actors will be required for the film, which will also involve Greek professionals. Parts of The Bricklayer which will be filmed in Greek.
Tzitzikostas underlined the importance of the film for the region of Central Macedonia and Thessaloniki as it will showcase the region worldwide. He added that it will contribute “primarily to the economy of the region as it will employ thousands of workers” from dozens of sectors and involve local businesses.
The film is budgeted at 21 million euros, he said, which will enter the local economy and give a significant boost to many enterprises creating at the same time thousands of new jobs.
He added that the project would not have been possible without the support of the Central Macedonia Region Film Office. Based in Thessaloniki, the Film Office is the first such operation created by a regional authority and serves as a go-between simplifying procedures.
Tzitzikostas noted that Central Macedonia Region is aiming in 2022 to see at least five to six films shot in the region. “This however depends on the course of the pandemic, which unfortunately is already creating delays,” he said.
On his part, Van Norden said he was happy to be filming in the region and referred in particular to Greek hospitality.
“Through the film we will present for the first time Thessaloniki and Central Macedonia to the world as a new film set. We will portray the city as it is: a modern, urban center with a long history and roots in the past,” he said.
“Much of the world audience will see a new destination in cinema, one that has never been seen before. The global audiovisual industry is always looking for new destinations, for something new, for something different. It is an important advantage for us as well,” he said.
Van Norden added that Millennium Media has sequel plans for The Bricklayer.
Over the last few years, Greece has taken actions including offering generous incentives and tax breaks in efforts to attract more international film productions. Since the beginning of 2021, 10 major film and TV productions have been shot in Greece. The government’s aim is bring in revenue while at the same time promote Greek destinations worldwide.