Pair's Blueprint Pictures planning three features
LONDON — Riding on the global success of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and the Midnight Madness Audience Award at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival for “Seven Psychopaths,” Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin of U.K. production company Blueprint Pictures are looking to build on their expanded profile with three features planned to shoot to 2013.
“We’ve had three good films that we’re proud of this year and we’re looking to repeat that next year,” Broadbent told Variety. The third film is “Now is Good,” a teen romantic drama starring Dakota Fanning and Jeremy Irvine, which opened in Blighty Sept. 21.
“The question for us now is, can you be a U.K.-based independent production company that makes two to three films a year regularly. That’s an interesting challenge,” he added.
The pair are developing a slate of 12 films across various genre with three for production next year.
“Deep Water” will tell the true story of Donald Crowhurst, who battled the establishment, his own demons and the elements in the first single-handed, round-the-world yacht race in 1968. U.S. scribe Scott Burns, who most recently wrote “Contagion” for Steven Soderbergh, wrote the screenplay, which Blueprint is developing with BBC Films and StudioCanal.
“The Homeless World Cup” (working title) is expected to shoot in the spring from a script by Frank Cottrell Boyce, who recently finished the upcoming “The Railway Man,” starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.
The basis for the film came out of Broadbent’s research into The Homeless World Cup Foundation, which helps itinerant people worldwide change their lives through soccer.
The organization supports grass-roots soccer programs and social enterprise development in 73 countries and celebrates its work with an annual street-soccer tournament, which this year takes place in Mexico City Oct. 6-14.
“The Homeless World Cup Foundation is a cool organization I came across through Colin Farrell,” Broadbent said. “He mentioned it when we were working on ‘In Bruges’ and told me about everything they do. I said, ‘That sounds like it should be a movie’ and he said ‘Yeah, I was hoping you’d say that.’ ”
Developed with Film4, the feel-good, fish-out-of-water tale follows the Irish members of five-a-side soccer team travelling to the tournament in Paris. Farrell will produce the film with the Blueprint pair and Broadbent confirms a role is intended for Farrell.
The third of the 2013 projects is “Posh,” Laura Wade’s adaptation of her politically charged play. “Posh” debuted at London’s Royal Court Theater in 2010 during the U.K. general election and recently saw most of the original cast return for an updated version in the West End.
The story follows a group of contemporary Oxford U. undergraduates whose exclusive dinner club spirals out of control. Broadbent describes it as a “satirical look at the upper classes.”
The play’s Riot Club was seen as a thinly veiled parody of Oxford’s real secret society dining club, Bullingdon, whose members have included British prime minister David Cameron and London mayor Boris Johnson. Blueprint is developing the film with Film4 and the British Film Institute.
Right now the pair’s focus is on building the Blueprint brand.
“We’re ambitious to change gear,” Broadbent said. “Producers can be very independent or a little less independent, we’re interested in getting a little closer to a big organization and be challenged.”
“Some companies can treasure their independence too much,” added Czernin.
The company’s focus is on material in the $10 million to $15 million budget range with a drive to get into North America. Czernin highlights a growing demand in the U.S. and elsewhere for mid-range budget films, which the studios have backed off from.
“U.S. audiences are now more open to movies coming from anywhere. There are English movies that don’t have to be defined by being British,” said Czernin. “You can see that across genres with films like ‘The Woman In Black,’ ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ and ‘The Iron Lady.’ ”
“Seven Psychopaths” will have its U.S. preem in Hollywood Oct. 1 before CBS Films releases it Oct. 12.
Broadbent and Czernin would not be drawn on the question of a sequel to “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” which grossed more than $134 million globally, including $46.2 million in North America.
“We’re proud of the film, which was clearly enjoyed by audiences worldwide. That gave us a great profile,” said Broadbent. “If we can come up with a strong idea for a sequel then we’ll look at that. I do think there’s more fun to be had.”