Magazine article Screen International

BBC Films Unveils 25th Anniversary Slate

Magazine article Screen International

BBC Films Unveils 25th Anniversary Slate

Article excerpt

BBC Films has revealed details of its upcoming slate, which includes new projects from Ricky Gervais, Armando Iannucci, James Marsh and Ritesh Batra.

The slate of projects was revealed during an event in London to celebrate the 25th birthday of BBC Films, whose first first theatrical production, Truly Madly Deeply, directed by Anthony Minghella, was released in 1990.

As previously reported, Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox) will direct an adaptation of Julian Barnes' Man Booker Prize winning novel The Sense of an Ending.

The adaptation is the debut screenplay of award-winning playwright Nick Payne and tells the story of Tony Webster, whose comfortable world is rocked to its foundations by the emergence of an explosive letter from his careless youth.

David Thompson will produce for Origin Pictures.

Rafe Spall is confirmed for Swallows and Amazons, a reinvention of Arthur Ransome's classic. Written by Andrea Gibb, the film will be directed by Philippa Lowthorpe and produced by Nick Barton.

With Armando Iannucci the BBC has just begun development on a new version of David Copperfield, to be adapted by Iannucci and fellow Dickens afficionado Simon Blackwell (In the Loop).

The slate includes a reunion with The Office creator Ricky Gervais for Life on the Road, the film about his seminal creation David Brent. 15 years on, Brent is now a travelling salesman engaged in a belated bid for rock stardom, with a documentary crew following his every move.

Written and directed by Gervais, he will also produce alongside Charlie Hanson.

Stephen Frears' Florence Foster Jenkins, which tells the story of the world's worst soprano who sold out Carnegie Hall, is set to begin filming this year with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant.

Lone Scherfig will direct Their Finest Hour and a Half based on the novel by Lissa Evans and written by Gaby Chiappe. Amanda Posey and Stephen Woolley will produce the portrait of the topsy turvy world of wartime London.

As previously reported, BBC will also be backing James Marsh's (The Theory Of Everything) next film about amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst, starring Colin Firth.

City of Tiny Lights is a contemporary detective thriller based on the novel by Patrick Neate. Produced by Ado Yoshizaki, Rebecca O'Brien, Pete Travis directs a script which Neate has adapted himself, with a cast which includes Riz Ahmed and Cush Jumbo.

As previously reported by Screen, BBC Films is backing Being AP, a doc about jockey AP McCoy in the final year of his career.

Additional docs on the slate include director Sophie Fiennes' Grace Jones - The Musical of My Life, a journey through the private and public realms of the legendary singer and performer. …

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