EXCLUSIVE: Exclusive Media producing with James Gay-Rees; marks start of Exclusive’s new focus on UK non-genre productions.

Calendar Girls director Nigel Cole and writer Tim Firth are reuniting on new action comedy Daylight Robbery, about a group of British retirees planning a bank heist.

Exclusive Media is producing in association with James Gay-Rees of Playmaker Films, who also worked with Exclusive’s Hammer Films on The Quiet Ones.

This film marks Exclusive’s growing focus of producing non-genre films in the UK. Exclusive’s production outfit Hammer will continue to focus on genre films, including the forthcoming shoot for The Woman In Black: Angel of Death.

Exclusive is fully financing Daylight Robbery.

The story is about a group of feisty pensioners who are hit by the financial crisis and plan to rob a bank to save one friend who is on the verge of losing her home.

Susie Figgis is serving as casting director and is starting casting now.

The project will shoot on England’s south coast in early 2014.

Exclusive’s sales arm will also sell Daylight Robbery, which is budgeted under $10m.

Production strategy

Los Angeles-headquartered Exclusive has produced films including End of Watch and Ides of March, and current productions include Ron Howard’s Rush, Peter Landesman’s Parkland and John Carney’s Can A Song Save Your Life?, plus Liam Neeson-starring A Walk Among The Tombstones in post and Jackie Chan project Skiptrace in pre-production.

“The next part of our production strategy is to build our activities on non-genre films in the UK,” said Simon Oakes, Exclusive’s vice chairman and president of Hammer.

Tobin Armbrust, president of worldwide production and acquisitions at Exclusive Media, told Screen during a recent visit to London: “It’s not something we woke up one day and decided to do.

“It’s a natural offshoot of our production activities here, we’ve now made The Quiet Ones, Rush, and The Woman In Black here, we think that’s a good basis for UK production experience and we’re actively developing eight film projects in the UK. We’re constantly dealing with the writers and filmmakers already.”

Daylight Robbery

Armbrust said of Daylight Robbery: “The idea immediately captured our attention. This concept of people feeling disenfranchised made it feel real and very timely, this idea they were the forgotten generation…in that world we dropped a very interesting group of characters.

“If you were pushed far enough, if you were going to lose your house and you had no money left, and you were dealing with big banks who had no personality and no empathy, what would you do?

“This group of extraordinary people decides to band together and help one woman try to take back her life and her finances. They take the extraordinary step of planning to rob a bank.

“It could be interpreted as very broad, but it turned out to be a really warm and realistic and inviting film, the way that it’s written. It’s very cast-able and nuanced.”

Oakes added that the project will not be patronising to the ‘grey-pound’ crowd. “This is an empowering movie,” he added.

Cole’s credits also include Saving Grace and Made In Dagenham.

Firth’s credits also include Confessions of a Shopaholic and Kinky Boots.