Fear grips Firth, Suvari for ‘Trauma’

Pic to begin shooting at the end of April

LONDON — Colin Firth and Mena Suvari have signed to star in “Trauma,” a psychological chiller directed by Marc Evans, which will be the first pic made under the Ministry of Fear banner at Little Bird Films.

The pic starts shooting at the end of April in London and the Isle of Man.

Myriad Pictures is handling worldwide sales, with Warner Bros. taking U.K. theatrical and video rights. Pic is being co-financed by BBC Films, the Isle of Man Film Commission and First Choice, the new tax fund from Grosvenor Park.

Haunted and harried

The original screenplay by tyro Scottish writer Richard Smith is about a man who wakes from a coma after a car crash to find that his wife apparently died in the same accident. As he tries to rebuild his life, he is haunted by images of his dead wife and his grip on reality starts to loosen.

Firth plays the bereaved man, with Suvari as his new-age neighbor who encourages him to contact his wife through a medium, with shocking consequences.

Director Evans previously had a modest hit with another horror movie, “My Little Eye.”

“Trauma” is being produced by Nicky Kentish-Barnes, whose credits include “About a Boy” and “An Ideal Husband,” and Little Bird’s Jonathan Cavendish.

Anglo-Irish production outfit Little Bird set up its Ministry of Fear label 18 months ago, under former Edinburgh Film Festival director Lizzie Franke, to develop horror movies with a psychological twist. The label has development funding from the Film Council.

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