Ayub Khan-Din, the playwright and screenwriter behind current UK box office phenomenon East Is East, is re-teaming with the film's backers FilmFour for a romantic comedy.
Khan-Din is writing Belmondo Sahib, which is understood to be his first feature after East Is East. The script is the story of an Indian man in England who dreams of being French cinema icon Jean-Paul Belmondo, star of such New Wave films as Breathless (A Bout de Souffle). Unhappily married, he meets a masseuse and starts acting out his fantasy more and more.
East Is East, which Khan-Din adapted from his own award-winning play, is close to taking a staggering £9m in the UK. Directed by Damien O'Donnell, the comedy, about a working class Anglo-Pakistani family in the 70s, has become FilmFour's most successful release to date.
The picture, developed by BBC Films and fully financed by FilmFour, went to Miramax Films in the run-up to Cannes.
This time around, Khan-Din is setting Belmondo in the present-day and creating a central character who is middle class. "This is more chintzy curtains and money," observed FilmFour's Elinor Day, who will resume the executive producing post she took up on East Is East.
Khan-Din's wife Buki Armstrong is to produce, while FilmFour will fully-finance the project depending on its budget.
"Ayub has been writing for a long time and has found his voice," Day said. "This is a brilliant time for him and it's exciting to be a part."