Family film from exec producer Ridley Scott and a feature from the team behind Horrible Histories both set to shoot early 2014.
Scott Free production Get Santa and Cowboy Films’ Bill have each secured £1m in production support from the BFI Film Fund this month.
Writer-director Chris Smith’s Get Santa, produced by Liza Marshall for Scott Free London, also received £35,000 in development backing earlier this month.
Jim Broadbent and Rafe Spall will star in the story of a father and son, who must team-up to save Christmas after they discover Santa Claus sleeping in their garage after crashing his sleigh and finding himself on the run from the police.
The production, on course for an early 2014 shoot, recently carried out an open casting call for the son role. Additional casting is due to be announced imminently.
Altitude handles sales. Ridley Scott is executive producer.
Family comedy Bill is a Cowboy Films / Punk Cinema production for BBC Films, which reunites many of the creatives and cast from the BAFTA-winning TV series Horrible Histories and is due to get underway in February.
Richard Bracewell will direct the story of hopeless lute player Bill Shakespeare, who leaves his family and home to follow his dream.
Producers are Tony Bracewell, Charles Steel and Alasdair Flind.. Writers are Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond.
Screen Yorkshire is backing both projects.
Four other projects have received at least £1m production support from the BFI Film Fund to date this year: Sixteen Films’ Jimmy’s Hall, directed by Ken Loach; Ruby Films’ Suffragette (aka The Fury), written by Abi Morgan and starring Carey Mulligan; Calamity Films’ 1980s gay comedy Pride; and See-Saw’s Slow West, starring Michael Fassbender.
Origin Pictures’ X + Y, starring Asa Butterfield, received a £900k production boost in June, while Blueprint’s Posh, adapted from Laura Wade’s eponymous play, has received at least £850k towards production in two instalments. Both also received development backing. Carol Morley’s The Falling received £750k.
Last year the Film Fund allocated production backing to 31 films.