2011 saw a slew of UK movies connect with audiences at home and abroad, including The King’s Speech, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Senna and The Inbetweeners Movie. Which of this crop will do the same in 2012?

The Angels’ Share

Dir Ken Loach Prod company Sixteen Films

Ken Loach’s fifth Scotland-set film is dubbed as a bittersweet comedy about a criminal who becomes entwined in a legal money-making plan involving whisky. Written by Loach’s long-time writing partner Paul Laverty, it stars Loach regulars John Henshaw, William Ruane, Gary Maitland and Roger Allam alongside new Scottish talents Paul Brannigan and Siobhan Reilly.

Int’l sales Wild Bunch

Anna Karenina

Dir Joe Wright Prod company Working Title Films

Atonement director Joe Wright has cast his regular muse Keira Knightley in the title role of his film version of Leo Tolstoy’s classic, adapted for the screen by Tom Stoppard. Knightley stars in the distinctly theatrical production opposite Jude Law and Aaron Johnson with a supporting cast featuring Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen and Emily Watson. Focus Features is distributing in North America.

Int’l dist Universal Pictures International

Berberian Sound Studio

Dir Peter Strickland Prod companies Illuminations Films and Warp X

Peter Strickland’s long-awaited second feature following his Berlin Silver Bear-winning Katalin Varga is a psychological horror starring Toby Jones as a sound engineer from Surrey who is hired to mix a horror film in one of the cheapest, sleaziest post-production studios in Italy.

Int’l sales The Match Factory

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Dir John Madden Prod company Blueprint Pictures

John Madden’s India-set comedy is a drama about a group of British pensioners who outsource their retirement. It features an all-star UK cast headed by Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Dev Patel. Deborah Moggach has co-adapted the screenplay from her own novel, together with Now Is Good director Ol Parker.

Int’l sales Fox Searchlight


Dir Neil Jordan Prod company Number 9 Films

The latest collaboration between Irish director Neil Jordan and producer Stephen Woolley is a vampire film scripted by Moira Buffini, who adapted Cary Fukunaga’s recent Jane Eyre. British actresses Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan star as a mother and daughter duo in the film, which Woolley describes as “close to [Jordan’s 1984 film] The Company Of Wolves”.

Int’l sales West End Films


Dir Pete Travis Prod company DNA Films

Shot in South Africa, this $45m 3D adaptation of the cult comic strip stars New Zealand actor Karl Urban as Judge Dredd and Olivia Thirlby as rookie cop Cassandra. Director Pete Travis and writer Alex Garland were forced to release statements denying creative differences during the post-production process, which will only serve to heighten anticipation for the release of the film in September.

Int’l sales IM Global

Fast Girls

Dir Regan Hall Prod company DJ Films

British producer Damian Jones (The Iron Lady) developed this London-set drama about a British female sprint relay team competing in a fictional athletics championships. It is co-written by Noel Clarke (Adulthood), Jay Basu and Roy Williams. The film is directed by commercials-turned-feature director Regan Hall. Fast Girls features Clarke alongside a host of newcomers and will be released to coincide with the London Olympics.

Int’l sales Ealing Metro

Great Expectations

Dir Mike Newell Prod company Number 9 Films

One Day writer David Nicholls has admitted to rewriting the ending for this adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel, directed by UK stalwart Mike Newell and one of two BBC-backed versions (the other is for TV) made to coincide with the 2012 bicentenary of Dickens’ birth. War Horse newcomer Jeremy Irvine stars as Pip, alongside Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham. Robbie Coltrane also makes an appearance as Mr Jaggers.

Int’l sales HanWay Films

Lay The Favorite

Dir Stephen Frears Prod companies Ruby Films, Likely Story

Selected for the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, Stephen Frears’ adaptation of Beth Raymer’s memoir about her experiences as a Las Vegas cocktail waitress-turned-super gambler almost didn’t happen due to financing problems. Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rebecca Hall star in the film, written by High Fidelity writer DV DeVincentis.

Int’l sales Wild Bunch

Les Misérables

Dir Tom Hooper Prod company Working Title Films

Tom Hooper’s follow-up to The King’s Speech is a big-budget feature version of stage musical Les Misérables, which stars Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe. Gladiator scriptwriter William Nicholson has adapted the screenplay from the 1862 Victor Hugo novel and the perennial musical. Theatre stalwart Cameron Mackintosh is on the producing team.

Worldwide dist Universal Pictures

Now Is Good

Dir Ol Parker Prod company Blueprint Pictures

Ol Parker’s adaptation of Jenny Downham’s Before I Die stars Dakota Fanning as a 17-year-old girl who sets about trying to complete her bucket list when she is diagnosed with a terminal illness, alongside rising UK stars Kaya Scodelario (Wuthering Heights) and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse).

Int’l sales TF1 International


Dir Dustin Hoffman Prod company Headline Pictures (Finola Dwyer, Stewart Mackinnon)

Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut with this adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s stage play about a group of ex-opera singers living in a retirement home. Shot in Buckinghamshire, the feature stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Sheridan Smith and Michael Gambon. Harwood himself adapted his play for the big-screen version.

Int’l sales HanWay Films

Seven Psychopaths

Dir Martin McDonagh Prod company Blueprint Pictures

Irish director Martin McDonagh reunites with his In Bruges star Colin Farrell for this action comedy about a struggling screenwriter whose friends inadvertently steal a gangster’s beloved dog. Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken co-star in the Los Angeles-set film. McDonagh also wrote the screenplay.

Int’l sales HanWay Films

StreetDance 2 3D

Dirs Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini Prod company Vertigo Films

Madonna’s dancing sidekick Sofia Boutella stars alongside German actor Falk Hentschel (Knight And Day) in Vertigo’s glossier, big-budget 3D sequel to StreetDance. It features iconic European locations and fuses Latin and streetdance. StreetDance was the highest-grossing UK indie film of 2010. Can the sequel follow in its footsteps?

Int’l sales Protagonist

Shadow Dancer

Dir James Marsh Prod company Unanimous Entertainment

Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough star in Project Nim director James Marsh’s spy thriller. Set in Dublin, it centres around the Irish Republican movement. Adapted by Tom Bradby from his own novel, the project was on the Brit List of the hottest screenplays in 2010 and premieres at Sundance.

Int’l sales Wild Bunch

Song For Marion

Dir Paul Andrew Williams Prod company Steel Mill Pictures

This feelgood comedy drama about an old man who joins an unconventional choir marks a change of direction for Paul Andrew Williams, who is known for his gritty British features London To Brighton and Cherry Tree Lane. Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave and Gemma Arterton star in the film, which The Weinstein Company picked up for the US at AFM.

Int’l sales E1 Entertainment

The Sweeney

Dir Nick Love Prod company Vertigo Films

Ray Winstone and Ben Drew replace John Thaw and Dennis Waterman in this London-set contemporary retelling of the iconic 1970s TV series, involving bank robberies and car chases. It is written and directed by The Football Factory’s Nick Love.

Int’l sales Protagonist


Dir Danny Boyle Prod company Cloud 8 Films

James McAvoy replaced Michael Fassbender as the lead in Danny Boyle’s remake of Joe Ahearne’s 2001 BBC TV drama of the same name about an art heist gone wrong. Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel also star in the thriller, which has been updated for the big screen by Ahearne and John Hodge.

Int’l dist Fox Searchlight

Under The Skin

Dir Jonathan Glazer Prod company Nick Wechsler Productions

Sexy Beast director Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien disguised as the perfect woman scouring highways for humans to feed on. Shot in Glasgow and based on the novel by Michel Faber, the film’s producers are tight-lipped over the film’s other cast.

Int’l sales FilmNation

Welcome To The Punch

Dir Eran Creevy Prod company Between The Eyes

The hotly anticipated second feature from Eran Creevy following his Bafta-nominated debut Shifty, which was made for $157,000 (£100,000). His follow-up is a considerably higher budget London-set thriller starring Mark Strong and James McAvoy as an ex-criminal and his nemesis detective, alongside Andrea Riseborough and Peter Mullan.

Int’l sales IM Global