Australian production outfit Pennell Motion Pictures is set to produce A$15-20m ($9.5-12.6m) romantic comedy Amorous Intrigue, displaying further evidence that the Australian production community is intent on moving into bigger-budget projects.
The film is based on the true story of Aphra Bhenn, who was a writer in the UK over 300 years ago. The project is being packaged by Creative Artists Agency in the US and Hugh Jackman is already attached to play the role of the swashbuckling raconteur with whom Bhenn has a love affair.
Pennell is also producing the previously announced A$15-20m ($9.5-12.6m) historical drama Boswell which Beyond Films will be pre-selling at AFM. German financier MBP is set to co-produce the project which has Bruce Beresford attached as director and Richard Dreyfuss and Geoffrey Rush attached to star.
Company principals Mark Pennell and Dennis Wright will produce both projects. Wright's credits as executive producer include The Man From Snowy River II. Pennell has been working in theatre since returning from Hollywood in 1994.
The third film on Pennell's slate is the A$5m ($3m) contemporary thriller Killer's Kiss, which will be commercials director Richard Gibson's debut feature. Set on an island off the Queensland coast, it is the story of a woman who mistakenly believes she has met the man of her dreams. Beyond has also signed for international rights on the project. Patrick Edgeworth has scripted all three films.