BAFTA-winning Control screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh is now developing Nowhere Boy, about John Lennon's relationship with his mother and aunt. Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae of Ecosse Films (Brideshead Revisited, The Water Horse) will produce. The script has been co-developed with distributor 2 Entertain.
Greenhalgh is basing the script on John's sister Julia Baird's book Imagine This: Growing Up With My Brother John Lennon. The young future Beatle was raised by his aunt and then discovered his real mother lived around the corner; the family has a struggle as he is reunited with his mother and also discovers rock and roll.
The film is one of seven new projects being backed with Lottery Funding by the UK Film Council's Development Fund. Nowhere Boy gets $70,000 (£35,500).
The other awards are led by The Lives Of Lee Miller with $233,000 (£116,500), Tamara Drewe with $96,500 (£48,375), Hyde Park on Hudson with $94,850 (£47,540), Half of a Yellow Sun with $78,500 (£39,375), Promised Land with $49,880 (£25,000), and The Pervert's Guide to Ideology with $19,950 (£10,000).
John Maybury, who has Dylan Thomas 'anti-biopic' The Egde Of Love in cinemas this summer, will write The Lives Of Lee Miller, about the celebrated model, photographer and muse. Norma Heyman will produce for Heyman-Hoskins.
Dramatist/director/actor Moira Buffini will adapt Posy Simmond's graphic novel Tamara Drewe for BBC Films and Alison Owen's Ruby Films. The story is a satire of a writer's retreat in the sleepy English countryside that is interrupted by the beautiful protagonist.
Director Roger Michell andproducer Kevin Loader of Free Range Films will team with David Aukin and Hal Vogel at Daybreak Pictures to make Hyde Park On Hudson, about King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's 1939 visit to Franklin Roosevelt's summer house.
BBC Films is also on board for playwright/novelist Biyi Bandele's adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 2007 Orange Prize-winning novel Half of a Yellow Sun, set during the struggle for independence in Nigeria. Andrea Calderwood, veteran of The Last King Of Scotland, will produce.
Michael Winterbottom and producing partner Andrew Eaton of Revolution Films are planning a Graham Greene-esque story, Promised Land, set in Palestine at the end of WWII.
Finally, Sophie Fiennes is reuniting with Slavoj Zizek, subject of The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, to make The Pervert's Guide to Ideology.
Other recent projects backed by the Development Fund include Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank, Armando Ianucci's In The Loop and Jane Campion's Bright Star.