Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant will star in “An Awfully Big Adventure,” the latest movie from British director Mike Newell, which starts shooting March 3 in Dublin.

Fine Line Features has pre-bought North American rights to the $ 4 million film, which is being produced by Hilary Heath and Philip Hinchcliffe for Wolfhound Films and Portman Prods.

The other backers include France’s UGC, which is handling international sales , British Screen Finance and the BBC.

Newell, whose credits include “Enchanted April,” most recently directed “Four Weddings and a Funeral” for Working Title. The romantic comedy will be released March 11 in the U.S. by Gramercy Pictures, after winning positive reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.

“An Awfully Big Adventure,” based on a novel by Beryl Bainbridge, is described as a “romantic comedy drama” set backstage at the Liverpool Playhouse theater just after World War II, dealing with the adventures of an aspiring actress, to be played by 17-year-old newcomer Georgina Cates. Rickman and Grant will play the two men with whom she becomes entangled.

Rickman, best known in Hollywood for his villainous cameos in “Die Hard” and “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” has just completed shooting “Mesmer” in Austria. Grant starred in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and John Duigan’s “Sirens,” to be released by Miramax.

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