East Is East writer Ayub Khan-Din is writing an adaptation of Harland Miller's acclaimed novel Slow Down Arthur, Stick To Thirty for Andrew Macdonald and Duncan Kenworthy's UK National Lottery studio franchise DNA Films.
The novel, hailed by anyone from national newspapers to pop star Jarvis Cocker as a masterful debut, is an unconventional rites-of-passage story about a young man obsessed with a David Bowie impersonator. Khan-Din, who is also writing Belmondo Ji for FilmFour, joins several respected writers attached to titles recently added to DNA's development slate.
Gary Mitchell, writer of the play The Force Of Change, is working on Once Upon A Time In Belfast, an epic drama story about two friends growing up in northern Ireland. Playwright and director Paul Godfrey, whose credits include A Bucket Of Eels and Inventing A New Colour, is writing Best Sex Of My Life, a teen drama about a group of teenagers travelling round Europe who fall in with a gang of petty thieves.
Also in the works at DNA are Back To School, a comedy being written by Damien Dibben. The story follows a frustrated novelist who reinvents himself by going back to his old school as a pupil in an attempt to relive his life more successfully.
DNA is moving into the horror genre with The Devil's Chamber, which is being written by Simon Donald. The project is set in 19th century Edinburgh and revolves around a young journalist covering a series of bizarre murders.
Other projects added to the franchise's development roster include Holy Holy Bus, a comedy set in Ireland being written by Pearse Elliot; and Stag Party, written and to be directed by Dominic Savage, which charts an unexpectedly emotional night before a couple's wedding day.
Kenworthy, producer of Notting Hill and Four Weddings And A Funeral, said that the franchise aims to put two or three projects into production next year. "We haven't decided what will go into production next," he said. "We are writing new drafts so it will depend on whatever we think is best at the time."
The franchise expects to hear the results of its mid-term review by UK film super body the Film Council in December or more likely early next year. It's debut release, Beautiful Creatures, is scheduled for UK release through UIP on January 19. Cocozza's Way, formerly titled Strictly Sinatra, is to follow next year. DNA is in post on Steve Coogan vehicle The Parole Officer and The Final Curtain, written by John Hodge and starring Peter O'Toole and Aidan Gillen.