Universal Pictures and Working Title Films started principal photography yesterday for Richard Curtis' new comedy The Boat That Rocked.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost and Kenneth Branagh star. Hoffman, Nighy, Ifans and Frost play iconoclastic DJs while Branagh plays a government official out to get the lawbreakers.

The supporting cast includes Tom Sturridge, Jack Davenport, Ralph Brown, Chris O'Dowd and January Jones.

The Boat That Rocked, about the British pirate radio revolution of the 1960s, will shoot primarily in a rusty fishing trawler moored off the coast of England. The film is inspired by the actual pirate radio operators that broadcasted from the seas 24 hours a day, at a time when the BBC played only two hours of rock every week.

Curtis wrote the script, which marks his second project as a director after 2003's Love Actually - but his first non-romantic comedy.

Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce with Hilary Bevan Jones. WT's Debra Hayward and Liza Chasin are executive producing.

Working Title's other current projects include Paul Greengrass' The Green Zone, Kevin Macdonald's State Of Play and Joe Wright's The Soloist.