'Bean' director to develop wide range of properties

LONDON — Mel Smith, director of the hit comedy “Bean,” has signed a two-year first-look deal with Working Title Films.

As well as producing “Bean,” Polygram-owned Working Title also was behind Smith’s directorial debut “The Tall Guy” a decade ago.

“Working Title is the only company I would do a deal like this with,” said Smith, whose production company is Lola Prods. “We’ve worked well together in the past and I’m sure we will again. I will be developing a wide range of material and not just English comedies.”

Despite his success as a director, Smith still is better known in Britain as half of the long-serving TV comedy duo Smith and Jones, partnered with Welsh farceur Griff Rhys-Jones.

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