United Artists is finalising a deal to join UK National Lottery studio franchise The Film Consortium as a financier on Michael Winterbottom's Manchester music scene film, 24 Hr Party People.
The story of Factory Records co-founder Tony Wilson is expected to mark the first project to be greenlit through UA's first-look deal with Revolution Films, the production outfit of Winterbottom and producer partner Andrew Eaton.
UA is likely to take the US and Latin America on the $5.8m (£4m) production. The Film Consortium is to handle the UK through a physical distribution deal with UIP.
Well-known UK comedian Steve Coogan, who stars in the upcoming DNA Films production The Parole Officer, is confirmed to play Wilson. With the film covering seminal UK bands such as New Order, The Smiths and Happy Mondays, a host of music world figures are expected to make cameos in the picture.
UA would be renewing its relationship with Revolution after the MGM specialist division co-financed Winterbottom's Californian gold rush romance, The Claim.
The deal would also mark the first UK production UA has boarded at financing stage since it closed down its London sales office under Wendy Palmer. UA has, however, picked up worldwide rights to UK romantic comedy Born Romantic.