Mullan’s ‘May’ day

Scot returns to helming for Headline Pictures

Scottish actor/helmer Peter Mullan (“The Magdalene Sisters”) is returning to the director’s chair to shoot “Alec and May,” the first movie from Headline Pictures, a new British company set up by writer Kevin Hood with producers Mark Shivas and Stewart Mackinnon.

“Alec and May,” an original screenplay by Hood, is a romance based on the true story of Alexander Graham Bell, the Scottish-born inventor of the telephone, who worked as a teacher of deaf children in late 19th century Boston. When he was 28, he fell in love with a 16-year-old pupil, at the same time as he was working on his pioneering “electrical speech machine.”

The script is being developed with BBC Films and Scottish Screen. Mullan plans to shoot the movie next spring in the U.S.

Mullan has won a string of awards including best actor for “My Name Is Joe” at Cannes in 1998 and the Golden Lion for best film for “The Magdalene Sisters,” his second pic as helmer, at Venice in 2002.

Hood is working meanwhile on his second script for Headline, an adaptation of Esther Hautzig’s children’s novel “Endless Steppe,” to be directed by Sarah Gavron. Development is being co-funded by the UK Film Council.

Producer Mackinnon previously made Gavron’s debut “This Little Life,” which co-starred Mullan.

Hood’s previous scripts include “Becoming Jane,” which Julian Jarrold is lining up to direct for Sony. He’s also developing “Donkey Millionaires” for Harbour Pictures under its first-look deal with Buena Vista Intl.

Shivas is a former head of BBC Films and a veteran film and TV producer, with credits including “A Private Function” and “The Witches.”

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