3 Jan 2008

Film of life of 18th century French Pacific explorer to be made in New Caledonia

11:19 am on 3 January 2008

Reports in France say an international project has begun to make an English-language film about the shipwreck of a French explorer in Solomon Islands.

The French navigator Laperouse disappeared -- along with his whole fleet -- at Vanikoro in the far-eastern Solomons in a cyclone in 1788.

A new film, entitled Vanikoro, will deal with the trials faced by the shipwreck survivors on islands said to have been inhabited by cannibals.

The film director has told the French newspaper Le Figaro that he'll start filming next year in New Caledonia.

Le Figaro says the project is a collaboration involving the US, Britain and Spain, and will feature the Hollywood stars, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Viggo Mortensen.