HBO pulls up a ‘Café’ seat with Curtis

'Phoenix' helmer Yates will direct telepic

HBO is producing “The Girl in the Café,” an original movie written by Richard Curtis and toplining Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald.

David Yates, who is also slated to direct the fifth Harry Potter film “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” will helm the telepic. Tightrope Pictures is producing the project with HBO Films and BBC1. Production began this week in London.

Curtis will exec produce with scribe Paul Abbott (“State of Play”) and BBC’s Julie Gardner. Bevan Jones will serve as a producer.

HBO will bow the movie this summer.

“Girl in the Café” is about a hard-working but timid civil servant (Nighy) and his life-changing relationship with a mysterious girl (Macdonald) he meets in a café. Their love story is set against the battle to end poverty.

“This is an important and provocative film that addresses one of the most urgent issues on the world stage,” HBO Films prexy Colin Callender said.

Curtis, co-founder and vice-chair of U.K.’s Comic Relief charity and a member of the Make Poverty History campaign, said “Girl in the Café” is “my first effort to bring the two halves of my life together.”

Ken Scott, Anton Lesser and Corin Redgrave also star.

Curtis made his directing debut with last year’s “Love Actually,” which he also wrote. His other writing credits include “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”

Yates directed Brit miniseries “State of Play” and recently wrapped “Sex Traffic.”