Pinewood backs ‘Last Passenger’

Omid Nooshin thriller stars Dougray Scott

LONDON — Train thriller “Last Passenger” has become the second project backed by U.K. studio group Pinewood Shepperton, under its plan to invest in low-budget films by new British directors.

“Last Passenger,” written and directed by Omid Nooshin, stars Dougray Scott as a doctor caught on a runaway commuter train. The $2.5 million pic started shooting on Thursday at Shepperton Studios.

Pinewood is investing alongside Future Films, the BFI Film Fund and Japan’s Fel Corp. Pathe is handling international sales. Producers are Zack Winfield and Ado Yoshizaki of NDF Intl.

Pinewood’s first investment was “A Fantastic Fear of Everything,” a $5 million paranoid comedy starring Simon Pegg, which shot at Shepperton this summer. It’s co-directed by Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell, with Universal taking multi-territory rights and Indomina providing gap finance.

Pinewood’s commercial director Nick Smith has been inundated with scripts since announcing plans in March to start making equity investments in low-budget British projects.

The studio group is aiming to back four films a year from first-timers, with a combined budget of around $13 million.

“We’ve always had an appetite for first-time directors to be our customers, but we’ve not previously given them the tools to help them come and use our facilities,” Smith said. “We would like to help people trying to get their foot on the first rung of the ladder.”

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