Irish helmer Ruairi Robinson attached to direct
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate U.K. has reteamed with “Harry Brown” producer Kris Thykier to produce high-concept sci-fi pic “The Fallen.”The estimated $35 million film, which marks Lionsgate U.K.’s fourth foray into the production arena, is about an alien spaceship that crash lands in Russia. When it creates a 400-mile electronic dead-zone, international special ops teams are sent in to neutralize it. Lionsgate U.K. will finance part of the pic, which, according to CEO Zygi Kamasa, “will probably need a U.S. partner,” and will co-produce alongside Thykier’s PeaPie Films. Irish helmer Ruairi Robinson directs and is developing the project with Thykier and Lionsgate. The original script is penned by Andrew Will, who recently sold the spec script “Archangel” to Scott Free and New Regency, with “Tron: Legacy” helmer Joseph Kosinski attached to direct. “Fallen” is looking to shoot in early 2012. This latest development is reflective of Lionsgate U.K.’s efforts to ramp up its British production activities. Last year, the outfit fully financed the $17 million Jason Statham thriller “Blitz,” which unspools in Blighty at the end of the month. And it put up about half of the budget for Lasse Hallstrom’s $16 million “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” toplining Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor, which is in post. In March, the outfit announced it was producing a feature version of cult Brit 1970s TV action series “The Professionals.” “Our remit is to focus only on projects that are European or British,” Kamasa said. “Because we’re owned by Lionsgate and they do so many movies in the U.S. themselves, there’s no point in competing with them. “We’re trying to make things because we’re here in the U.K. and we understand this marketplace,” Kamasa added. “Let’s make things in our domestic territory, and if we can, make them work in Europe — and if they work in the U.S. as well, then great.” Thykier, who brought the project to Lionsgate, is in post on two pics: Madonna’s “W.E,” which he produced, and “Ill Manors,” penned and helmed by Brit rapper-singer Ben Drew (aka Plan B), which he exec produced. Robinson and Will are both repped by CAA.