Amid the Mediterranean sea and the ancient ruins, Saskatchewan-born director Lowell Dean wanders through Malta scouring for locations.
His latest film, Hounds of War, is in pre-production and on most days Dean spends 20 hours preparing for when filming begins next month.
The movie, which stars Frank Grillo (The Purge: Anarchy, Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) is an action film about a mission gone wrong, and just one mercenary is left alive to avenge his brothers.
“It’s definitely not a prairie-set film,” Dean said to Sam Maciag, on CBC’s Saskatchewan News. “That’s exciting to me, to look at these locations from a very different perspective.”
Being in Europe is a change of pace for the director known for his movies Wolf Cop and Supergrid.
He spent the pandemic in a tiny bubble on the prairies that only included family. Now he’s touring the entire island of Malta, located in the Mediterranean Sea near the southern tip of Italy.
“For me to not only make a movie but make one around the world is a very intense wake-up call,” Dean said.
He got the opportunity to direct Hounds of War, which was written by Jean Pierre Magro (Blood on the Crown), through former Saskatchewan producer, Shane Putzlocker (Corner Gas, Cold Brook).
“About six months ago he called me and said ‘Read this script and then we can go to Malta,'” Dean said.
“I said ‘Where’s Malta?’ I had to look it up on a map, but when I saw it I said ‘Whoa, let’s go make a movie.'”
One of the highlights of pre-production has been getting to work with Grillo.
“He’s been an actor I’ve been a fan of for quite a while. To actually meet him, and get to work with him, and find out he’s just as nice as I hoped he would be,” Dean said.
“And then to go and blow stuff up and see him get into some pretty intense fights, I’m really excited about that opportunity and to dive into the action genre and take some unique sequences I haven’t seen before.”
Because the film is in pre-production, Dean couldn’t offer too many details. However, the film will include a mostly European cast and crew.
Hounds of War does not yet have a release date. It’s expected to come out by Christmas 2022.