EXCLUSIVE: Downton Abbey director readies feature debut, Anton Newcombe due to score.

Michael Socha (This is England, Spike Island), Alexandra Roach (Cuban Fury, The Iron Lady), Kate Bracken (Being Human) and Jack Lowden (The Tunnel) are attached to star in comedy Moon Dogs, the feature debut of Downton Abbey and Being Human director Philip John.

Produced by Kathy Proctor and written by Raymond Friel and Derek Boyle, the project has had development support from Creative Scotland, Film Agency Wales and Playwrights’ Studio Scotland.

Proctor was at the EFM in Berlin to discuss Moon Dogs with potential investors and sales companies and is aiming for a late summer shoot.

Musician Anton Newcombe, founder of US rock band The Brian Jonestown Massacre, is due to score the film.

Moon Dogs charts the adventures of two warring brothers from Shetland who set out on a road trip to Glasgow in order to bring back one of the boy’s girlfriend for Up Helly Aa, Europe’s largest fire festival. On the journey both boys fall in love with a free-spirited girl who dreams of becoming a singer.

The teaser can be viewed on director John’s website: http://www.philipjohn.net/  

John will be aiming to follow in the footsteps of fellow Downton directors to have recently made their feature debuts, including Andy Goddard, whose drama Set Fire to the Stars, starring Elijah Wood, is currently shooting in Wales, and Brian Percival, whose 2013 debut The Book Thief, is Oscar-nominated this year.

The director is also in development on Last Train to Llanelli, a film noir series from the trilogy of novels by Robert Lewis. The project is adapted by John and Hassan Amini. Producers are Daybreak Pictures and The Two Faces of January writer-director Hossein Amini, with development support from Film Agency Wales.