Tiger Aspect Pictures, the film arm of leading TV comedy producer Tiger Aspect Productions, is readying a fresh slate after the company scored three hits out of three with Billy Elliot, Kevin And Perry Go Large and Bean.
Steve Bendelack of surreal comedy show The League of Gentlemen is now attached to direct the darkly funny road movie Driving Big Davie from a script by Colin Bateman. Tiger is also developing Crazy Horse, a family-oriented story being written by Ashley Pharaoh of hit TV drama Where The Heart Is, and sci-fi horror title Cyclops, which Working Title Films is circling.
Other projects in the works include The Suitcase Kid, a family project adapted from acclaimed writer Jacqueline Wilson's novel, and Plastic Paddy, a romantic comedy about an Englishman pretending to be Irish to get into an increasingly successful band. Having partnered with FilmFour on its recent production Dog Eat Dog, Tiger is set to collaborate again with the Channel 4 film operation on horror title The Visitor.
Tiger Aspect Productions, founded by Peter Bennett-Jones, is also putting the finishing touches to the film operation, which launched last year with a first-look deal with the UK's Working Title. Bennett-Jones, who manages a who's who of UK comedy talent through PBJ Management, heads a film-making team of four main decision-makers including himself and Rachel Holroyd, who became managing director of the film operation in January after heading business affairs at Working Title.
Working alongside them are two joint heads of film, who each develop their own projects. Greg Brenman is a seasoned TV drama producer with film credits including Billy Elliot and Tiger's recent prodcution with Icon Entertainment, The Martins (aka Tosspot), while Amanda Davis has now been promoted from head of development at Tiger. Davis is a former ICM agent who nurtured now-leading UK directors such as Peter Cattaneo and Roger Michell. Roanna Benn, script editor on Billy Elliot, has become head of development, while Cass Burnham is films co-ordinator.
Tiger aims to make at least two $5m-$10m projects a year, often drawing on Bennett-Jones' invaluable talent relationships. His clients include Rowan Atkinson, with whom Tiger Aspect developed and packaged Bean for Working Title, and Harry Enfield, with whom Tiger repeated the trick on Kevin And Perry for Icon Entertainment.
"When you are working with [Bean writer] Richard Curtis, Rowan Atkinson and [Bean director] Mel Smith, you tend to let them get on with it," said Bennett-Jones. "If you need to intervene, it's usually cost-related." (For full story see Screen International weekly).