A best-selling novel generating interest from a host of US companies, a comedy about a rock legend and a thriller about a brutal killing are amongst the avowedly 'catholic' debut slate of the UK's restructured FilmFour under Tessa Ross.
Highlights include The Lovely Bones, UK auteur Lynne Ramsay's highly anticipated adaptation of Alice Sebold's novel. The project, commissioned under the old regime but embraced by Ross, is being closely tracked by American companies and produced by Aimee Peyronnet and Jim Wilson. Ross expects Ramsay to develop the material for a few more months before going out to potential partners.
Also on Ross' slate is El Bulto, written by Dan Mazer, Ali G creator Sasha Baron Cohen's writing partner. The comedic tale is about a rock and roll wild boy who pieces together his past as an eighties rock hero after a 20-year coma from a narcotic overload.
Meanwhile, Nik Powell is producing He Kills Coppers, a 1966-set thriller set in the aftermath of a killing which Simon Burke is adapting from Jake Arnott's book.
Dan Reed's Straightheads is billed as an 'uncompromising yet ultimately redemptive' tale of revenge and greed, while Toby Young's autobiographical tale of his time on Vanity Fair, How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, is another commission from the old regime.
Acclaimed novel The Gift, produced by Steve Woolley's Company Of Wolves, is a story about two affluent couples spiralling into materialistic madness. Writer-director Penny Woolcock will direct Twist, set in the seedy underbelly of the gambling world, for Company Productions.
Although FilmFour's restructuring was met with significant consternation as it involved cutting Channel 4's annual investment by two thirds to £10m, Ross has had a warm reception amongst UK producers impressed by her flexible, collaborative approach - symbolically, she is not taking executive producer credits.
In her first interview since taking over, Ross, who is already in production on Shane Meadows' untitled project, said she was funding long-term development but was much happier if a producer was driving the project. The old FilmFour alienated some producers by taking the lead role.
'I want FilmFour to be a good place to work,' Ross said.
Ross, who has around $16m a year to spend excluding overheads, said she would be flexible in terms of taking rights but was primarily interested in UK TV rights for Channel 4. Asked what the films on her slate had in common, she said 'I hope nothing,' adding that she hoped the titles offered a broad range. One link, however, is the range of new British filmmakers, part of the channel's express commitment to local talent.
'I feel extremely optimistic about the excellent contribution FilmFour can offer the British film industry,' Ross said.