FilmFour and UK production outfit Cowboy Films have struck a first-look deal for the next project from The Crow: City Of Angels director Tim Pope.

Cowboy and FilmFour are still to choose a project, but Pope is expected to put a title into development within a year. The production will form part of a fresh slate at the rapidly expanding Cowboy, which Pope founded with producer Lisa Bryer.

The company has also appointed UK producer Charles Steel, formally of Amy Foster's production outfit Tapson Steel, as a director. Steel is to spearhead production while Bryer focuses more on executive producing.

Steel worked on projects including Cowboy's debut production Goodbye Charlie Bright following the end of his producing partnership with the late Polly Tapson. He raised $1.1m (£750,000) for Charlie Bright from equity financier Bonaparte after the project had to be closed down in post when original financiers Alchymie went into meltdown. UK distributor Metrodome Distribution recently acquired the story of growing up in south London.

"I had a great partnership with Polly," Steel said. "Working on my own was fine but I missed the partnership. Cowboy and I worked well together on Charlie Bright, the company is very busy and it has great resources in terms of bringing in talent."

Steel will bring several projects into the company including con artist story Trick for Charlie Bright's Nick Love to direct. Cowboy, which has The Hole coming out next year alongside Charlie Bright, is also set to partner with producer Andrea Calderwood to produce the $15m The Last King Of Scotland for FilmFour.

Other staff changes at the company see Natasha Marsh being promoted to head of development. Marsh takes over from Suzanne Warren, who is moving to Los Angeles where she will be retained as a consultant.

Bryer and Pope launched Cowboy into developing features after establishing the company as a commercials, music video and TV operation. "We were in a meeting with Metrodome and they said that the only film they could see going wide against Charlie Bright was our film The Hole," said Bryer. "After six years of hard slog, it's wonderful to have a comment like that made."