‘Mayor’ filming delayed

LONDON — “The Mayor of Kingdom Come,” which was supposed to be the next film from director Michael Winterbottom, has been put on ice for a year because of problems sealing the financing.

The $17 million pic, a Western based loosely on Thomas Hardy’s “The Mayor of Casterbridge,” needed to start shooting almost immediately, in order for the sets, which have already been built in London, to be shipped to their mountain location in the U.S. before the winter snows make transport impossibly expensive.

But Polygram Filmed Entertainment, which has been developing the pic with Winterbottom’s company Revolution Films, decided against taking North American rights. Talks about setting the pic up as a co-production between Polygram and Goldwyn Films, MGM’s newly formed specialized arm, were under way but did not reach resolution in time.

The film also had around $4 million of financing in place from the Arts Council’s Greenlight Fund and BBC Films, which co-owns the project with Revolution. Sean Penn was understood to be lined up to star.

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