The UK's Revolution Films is developing a slate of new films including actor Stephen Fry's directing debut, Bright Young Things, which Fry is adapting from Evelyn Waugh's classic novel, Vile Bodies, as well as a Michael Winterbottom project about the conflict in Afghanistan.
The Fry project is part of a concerted drive by Revolution, which is run by Winterbottom and producer Andrew Eaton, to produce films from third-party directors. The company is currently in production on Heartlands, which Damien O'Donnell is directing and Miramax Films backing.Fry and Revolution are currently casting Bright Young Things, with a view to shooting next spring. Waugh's book is set among the fashionable 'it' crowd in 1930s London.
Having portrayed the war in former Yugoslavia in Welcome To Sarajevo, Winterbottom is heading to Pakistan this month to research and possibly shoot initial scenes for an untitled film about Afghan refugees. The director of The Claim, Jude and the upcoming 24 Hour Party People is working on the project with writer Tony Grisoni, whose credits include Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.
The story charts the journey of two brothers from the refugee camps on the Afghan-Pakistan border, through Iran, Turkey and Albania, to London. Shot on the hoof using digital video, the project is one of the first in a slate of low budget films being developed at Revolution Films, the UK production company of Winterbottom and producer Andrew Eaton.
"It is essentially about one brother who makes it and another who doesn't," said Eaton. "We've been working on it for a while. They were either going to be Chinese or Afghan, but recent events decided that."
Revolution has funded early costs on the film through its discretionary development fund from United Artists, which has a first-look deal with the UK company. "On that sort of budget, financing should not be too tough," Eaton said.
Winterbottom is also moving forward on the long-gestating Going Mad In Hollywood, about the world of radical British filmmaking in the 60s. Eaton aims to set up the project with UA and UK National Lottery franchise The Film Consortium, both of which partnered with Revolution on Manchester music scene film 24 Hour Party People.
The slate of low-budget films includes artist Tracey Emin's autobiographical film, Top Spot.