Trudie Styler’s Xingu Films has signed a long-term production deal with Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, starting with “Cheeky,” the directorial debut of actor David Thewlis.
EuropaCorp is co-financing the $6 million pic in return for all rights in non-English speaking territories.
Besson’s newly born studio is also taking first option on the next three Xingu projects, including Joel Hershman’s “Hungry.”
“Cheeky,” which is set to shoot in October, was written by Thewlis, who will also take the lead role as a widower who takes part in a bizarre gameshow because he thinks it was his wife’s dying wish.
Pic, set against the backdrop of England’s Lake District, is a bittersweet comedy about how a father and his son react to their bereavement.
Besson will take an active creative role as exec producer, says Styler.
“I am thrilled to be working with EuropaCorp and particularly with Luc Besson, who has the rare position of being a chief executive as well as a hugely talented and creative filmmaker,” she comments.
Besson has been friends with Styler for almost 20 years, ever since he wrote “Subway” with her husband Sting in mind (although the pop star did not end up in the film).
“I am an enormous admirer of Trudie Styler, and believe David Thewlis to be a truly exceptional talent,” Besson says. “I look forward to our long-term future with Xingu.”
Xingu’s feature credits include the two Guy Ritchie films “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch,” and Hershman’s “Greenfingers.”
It also produces documentaries, most recently “A Kind of Childhood” about child labor, by Catherine and Tareque Massud, whose feature “The Clay Bird” unspooled a few days ago in the Directors Fortnight.
Hershman’s “Hunger” is a $15 million project set in a Tuscan cookery school. Xingu has also picked up another Hershman project, “The Locksmith,” out of turnaround from Disney.
Styler runs Xingu along with the company’s chief exec Anita Sumner and producer Travis Swords.