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Ben Kingsley’s SBK announces slate

U.K.-based production co. readies six projects

Ben Kingsley’s fledgling U.K.-based production shingle SBK Pictures is ramping up its slate, putting five films and one made-for-TV miniseries into development.

Kingsley is attached to star in several of the projects, including the WWI drama “Jutland 1916,” based on the book by Peter Hart about the epic naval battle. Kingsley has committed to star as Admiral John Jellicoe.

Nick Willing, who directed Kingsley in the 1999 NBC TV movie “Alice in Wonderland,” will adapt the screenplay.

Kingsley, who recently attended the Abu Dhabi confab to raise coin for the slate, is also moving forward with the romantic fantasy “Duncan,” written by Barton Randall. Story centers on a woman who reconnects with her childhood toy, an elephant. Kingsley will voice the elephant.

Emily Mortimer is in talks to star in “Cousin Bazilio,” a six-part miniseries set in Lisbon circa 1870 and written by Powell Jones and Zadoque Lopes. Willing will direct the pic, which Kingsley will produce.

These are the other three projects being developed for the bigscreen:

n “Whispers Like Thunder,” written by Fuller “Trip” Brooks and Luis Moro, which chronicles the true story of three Native American sisters who fought a 65-year legal battle against the U.S. government to protect the Wyandot Indian sacred burial ground in Kansas. Kingsley will play Charles Curtis, the only part-Native American to serve as vice president of the U.S. Film will be co-produced with Luis Moro Prods.

n “Quixote,” which focuses on the relationship between author Miguel de Cervantes and his creation, Don Quixote. Rusty Lemorande wrote the screenplay.

n “I Know a Place,” a British comedy written by Randall, who also will direct.

SBK Pictures was formed in 2007 by Kingsley and his producing partners Simone Sheffield and Valerie Hoffman. The shingle also is producing “Will,” based on Christopher Rush’s novel of the same name, which depicts the deathbed meeting between William Shakespeare and his lawyer to hash out his last will and testament. Charles Wood is penning the screenplay.

Aside from SBK, Kingsley has several films in the can, including Martin Scorsese’s period drama “Shutter Island.”

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