CinemaNX, Film4 greenlight teen drama

After a year of speculation, Blighty’s cult hit TV show “Skins” is headed for the bigscreen with production set to begin at the end of September.

Producers Company Pictures and Stormdog Films, and film financiers and distributors CinemaNX and Film4 will jointly develop the project, which will shoot in Bristol and the Isle of Man. Release date is expected to be early summer 2011.

Executive producer Steve Christian, of CinemaNX, is keeping hush about cast members, leaving fans speculating over which characters from the four series of the show — about teens growing up in tricky times — will appear in the film.

“Until the whole package is put together we’re keeping quiet,” Christian said.

Script will be penned by the E4 series’ writer Jack Thorne, who has “finished nearly 95% of the screenplay.”

“Skins” helmer Charles Martin will direct while the program’s longtime producer Chris Clough will produce pic.

Christian said the budget is unlikely to top £20 million ($29 million). “One of the huge attractions is the whole production value that they managed to achieve through the television show,” Christian said. “If we can’t replicate that on screens, it’s going to kill us. This is not TV now — this is film.”

He added that while the dramedy, which attracts up to 1.5 million viewers and resonates with Blighty’s 16- to 24-year-olds, is crossing the Atlantic for an MTV adaptation, the pic would stay true to its Brit roots and fans.

“We can’t dilute ‘Skins’ just for the sake of trying to reach the widest audience,” he said. “That would be cheating the brand.”

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