The Bob Dylan movie “Masked & Anonymous,” a darkly poetic tale of a singer who has fallen from grace will mark the first production for Guy East and Nigel Sinclair’s new shingle, Spitfire Pictures.
“This cutting-edge film is the perfect inaugural production for us,” said Sinclair, the former co-chair with East of Intermedia Films.
Spitfire is co-financing “Anonymous” with Intermedia and BBC Films, with Spitfire co-producing with Destiny Prods. and the BBC. East will exec produce with BBC Films’ David Thompson and Marie Cantin, who is also line producing pic.
Ed Harris and Giovanni Ribisi are the latest to join pic’s high-powered ensemble cast, to be directed by Larry Charles. Also set are Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz, Dylan, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson and Angela Bassett. In supporting and cameo roles are Steven Bauer, Bruce Dern, Laura Harring, Harris, Val Kilmer, Cheech Marin, Chris Penn, Ribisi, Mickey Rourke, Richard Sarafian, Christian Slater and Fred Ward.
Pic will be released in the first half of 2003, with filmmakers hoping to take it to Sundance or Cannes next year. Pic will finish shooting July 15, after which when Dylan will record a live concert for the film in Los Angeles.
Sinclair and East exited into a non-exclusive first-look production deal with Intermedia in May after announcing their intention to step down from their posts and give up their Internationalmedia board seats (Daily Variety, May 10).
Spitfire Pictures has since raised what Sinclair terms “substantial equity” for the company through a private investor as well as significant development coin for the new venture.
New shingle is expected to produce approximately two pictures annually, building to three to for per year, as well as TV projects, Sinclair told Daily Variety. “We want to be a key supplier to Intermedia and have our own personality as well,” said Sinclair. “We want to perpetuate the talent-friendly history Guy and I have which will continue with this new company.”
Spitfire is looking for digs in the Beverly Hills area; shingle is expected to staff up over the next 12 months. The duo will unveil further plans this fall.
Added East: “Spitfire is the beginning of a new era for Nigel and me. This is a wonderful project to get us out of the gate.”