They are larger than life, or at least than average, and not particularly choosy about their men. Now the Fat Slags, the sluttish cartoon heroines from Blighty’s satirical and scatological Viz magazine, are being unleashed on the bigscreen. “Fat Slags The Movie,” directed by Ed Bye (“Kevin and Perry Go Large”), starts shooting Aug. 10, produced by Luc Roeg and financed by Nigel and Trevor Green‘s Entertainment Film Distributors.
Fiona Allen and Sophie Thompson will play the notorious Newcastle good-time girls. Allen (soon to be seen in the upcoming “Gladiatress”) is no stranger to man-eating roles, but it’s a departure for Thompson, whose career to date has largely consisted of playing bonneted maidens in period pics such as “Nicholas Nickleby” and “Gosford Park.” Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell will take a small supporting part.
“Fat Slags” is the latest in what’s becoming quite a wave of bawdy comedies being shot in Britain this year, including “Sex Lives of the Potato Men,” “School for Seduction” and even an attempt to revive the “Carry On” franchise with “Carry On London.”
WT2 dances with O’Donnell
It’s a long way from the broad yucks of “Ali G Indahouse” or the upcoming zombie comedy “Shaun of the Dead” to an Irish drama about cerebral palsy. But they all fall within the spacious reach of WT2, the low-budget arm of Working Title.
WT2 has come aboard as co-producer of “Inside I’m Dancing,” a highly unusual buddy movie set in contemporary Dublin, about a boy with cerebral palsy whose life is transformed when he meets a maverick fellow sufferer. No cast is confirmed, although James McAvoy (“Bright Young Things”) is in talks for one of the lead roles.
Scripted by Jeffrey Caine (“Goldeneye”), the $6 million pic will mark the first time Irish helmer Damien O’Donnell (“East Is East,” “Heartlands”) has made a movie in his home country. Project was developed by James Flynn at Octagon Films, and is being co-financed by the Irish Film Board, plus British and Irish tax deals. Working Title parent Universal will handle worldwide distribution. Shooting starts Oct. 20.
Aardman rolls “Wallace and Gromit”
No one ever said making movies out of clay was quick. Aardman Animations, the Bristol-based toon outfit responsible for the 2000 hit “Chicken Run,” is finally ready to shoot the first feature under the four-pic deal it signed with DreamWorks way back in 1999.
“Chicken Run” co-director Nick Park will begin production on his long-awaited clay-animation “Wallace and Gromit” movie in September. Pic, which Park will direct with Steve Box, will reveal the latest misadventures of the cheese-loving inventor from northern England and his quizzical dog, who have already starred in several lauded shorts, including Oscar winners “The Wrong Trousers” and “A Close Shave.”
The film is slated for a summer 2005 release, making it no slower to reach the big screen than “Chicken Run,” which took 4½ years from soup to nuts.
Jeffrey Katzenberg originally estimated Aardman would need 12 years to develop and produce its four movies, so the partnership is not really behind schedule. They got off to a false start with the aborted production of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” which shot for a few months in 2001 before script problems pushed it back into development, where it remains.
Meanwhile, Peter Lord, the other co-director of “Chicken Run,” is developing “Flushed Away,” about two rats whose lives take a turn for the better when they are washed down a sewer and up into a penthouse. The plan is to start shooting early in 2005, once the “Wallace and Gromit” movie is finished.