New projects from directors including Mike Newell, David Mackenzie, Patrice Leconte and Chris Cunningham have received development backing from the UK Film Council
The Council's Development Fund is working with Newell (Mona Lisa Smile, Four Weddings And A Funeral) and Laura Bickford (producer of Traffic) at 50 Cannon who are producing The Stand-In, a psychological thriller written by Deborah Moggach. After a struggling English actress catches her big break playing American starlet Lila Dunn's stand-in, she begins a journey of unhealthy obsession and wicked revenge. The film is receiving £81,875 in development cash from the fund.
British music video director (Aphex Twin, Bjork) Chris Cunningham is working with producer Fernando Sulichin (Commandante) and screenwriter Gordy Hoffman (Love Liza) on RanXerox (working title), his feature debut. Hoffman is currently writing the script for Sulichin's Rule 8 Productions. Producer James Wilson is also attached. The Development Fund is investing £95,300 of development money into the project.
Meanwhile, Patrice Leconte is to revisit his French language love story Monsieur Hire with an English language interpretation. Produced by Phillippe Carcassonne and Carl Clifton (L'Homme du Train) and written by Phyllis Nagy, the film is being funded with £73,000 from the UK Film Council's Development Fund.
TV comedy writer and performer Ben Miller (Armstrong and Miller) is writing romantic comedy The Pear Tree in partnership with Sophie Winkleman with £59,750 of Development Fund investment. The feature film, produced by Colin Jones and executive produced by Stephen Evans (The Mother, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), is a re-working of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew set in modern day Cambridge.
Writer Paul Hoffman, producers Sarah Radclyffe and Courtney Pledger at Jigsaw Films are developing Alan Gibbons's fantasy trilogy Legendeer with £98,050 of development. Since the beginning of time Leviathan, the darkest and most powerful force in the universe has been searching for the one being he fears, the long-prophesied Legendeer. Finally he has found him: Phoenix Graves, an apparently ordinary sixteen year-old living in present day London. Luring Phoenix into his domain Leviathan unleashes his horde of mythical beasts confident of imminent victory over his nemesis. However, Phoenix knows one thing that Leviathan does not: there's been a terrible mistake - he's just an ordinary teenager who now has the fate of billions resting on his shoulders...
Young Adam director David Mackenzie is now developing adventure comedy Patrick Robertson. The screenplay is written by Peter Hewitt & Phil Hughes (Thunderpants) based on Brian Hennigan's novel of the same name, and produced by Paul Goodman of Litmus Productions. Patrick Robertson is a high-living salesman mistakenly kidnapped whilst in the Far East. His escape involves murder, theft, impersonation, a hot-air balloon, an egomaniac plastic surgeon, a sex-starved fiancee, and Mother Theresa of Calcutta. But at all times Patrick must remain true to the principles of his profession - whether in a sales meeting or in the jungle, only the most ruthless will survive. The project is to receive a further £52,000 from the Development Fund.
Meanwhile, UK production companies Qwerty Films and Autonomous are to receive their third year of slate funding from the Development Fund - £250,000 and £125,000 respectively; Passion Pictures is to receive its second year slate investment of £100,000.