EXCLUSIVE: Michael Winterbottom to shoot The Face of an Angel in late 2013, also in Italy.

Tristan Whalley’s Goalpost Film is heating up sales on Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip To Italy, his follow-up to 2010 hit The Trip, which has now sold to IFC for the US, Madman for Australia/New Zealand, Non-Stop for Scandinavia, Wild Bunch for Benelux and Cinesky for airlines.

“There is a lot of interest because of the success of the first film,” Whalley said.

Winterbottom will start shooting the sequel, again starring Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, for a month from May 24. Revolution’s Melissa Parmenter produces and Andrew Eaton executive produces. As with the first project, a theatrical film version is planned alongside an episodic TV series.

In this sequel, the pair tour Italy, through Piedmont, Liguria, Tuscany, Rome, the Amalfi Coast and Capri. Brydon and Coogan play versions of themselves, on assignment to write about food for The Observer. This time the road trip also involves boat scenes.

Whereas the first series referenced Wordsworth and Coleridge, The Trip To Italy will follow in the footsteps of Byron and Shelley.

“We have an outline of the story,” Winterbottom says. “It’s all improvised but then some bits are quite close to the script.”

After that, Winterbottom will return to Italy in the final quarter of 2013 to shoot The Face of an Angel, his film loosely inspired by the book Angel Face, about the Amanda Knox trial. Winterbottom says his film is resolutely not about Knox. “It’s a modern day version of Dante,” he says.

The Italian co-producer for The Face of an Angel is just confirmed as Cattleya, whose credits include Terraferma and Dormant Beauty.

Winterbottom used Barbie Latza Nadeau’s book Angel Face as the jumping off point for his story, which follows a journalist covering a big murder case who meets a filmmaker researching the trial (fictional, not Knox’s). The focus becomes more about the filmmaker and his personal life, and how he should focus more on his daughter.

“It becomes more about this personal crisis, and his relationships to his ex wife and daughter,” Winterbottom explains. “The idea is that in any case like this, the victim disappears. They tall about the intrigue of who commited the crime.”

Paul Viragh wrote the script and the project is casting now to shoot in the autumn in Rome, Siena and Ravenna. BBC Films is backing.

The literary connection comes with the filmmaker has nightmare visions of Dante (who himself was mourning the loss of Beatrice).

Revolution, the company that Winterbottom and producer Andrew Eaton run, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2014. Eaton recently was a producer on Ron Howard’s Formula 1 story Rush (now completed) and hopes that the company could get involved with more projects of that scale in future. “It’d be great to do more films of that scale but there aren’t that many outside of Working Title [productions] in this country,” Eaton says.

The Revolution slate includes an adaptation of stalker novel Into The Darkest Corner; Tony Grisoni adapting Blacklands and David Peace’s 1977; Paul Viragh adapting Peace’s GB84 for Mat Whitecross to direct; a Shanghai-set project with novelist Mian Mian, and new Sky comedy series Doll & Em starring Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells.