Former Handmade Films Intl. execs Guy Collins, Michael Ryan and Fred Hedman are in talks with helmer Paul McGuigan to turn John McKenzie’s 1980 movie “The Long Good Friday” into a TV series through their new sales, financing and production company, GFM Films.
Ray Winstone is circling to play the Cockney gang boss threatened by Irish terrorists moving in on his territory. Bob Hoskins played that role in the original.
Collins and Ryan are also pushing ahead with a “Time Bandits” reboot and are in talks with a Hollywood co-producer to redo the Terry Gilliam pic as a bigscreen kids action franchise.
The execs, who exited Handmade last year, were previously developing both projects there.
London-based GFM has also formed a joint venture with Peter and Kate Hoffman’s L.A.-based Seven Arts Pictures, under which the two companies will collaborate on each other’s projects.
GFM will handle foreign sales for the Seven Arts slate and library, including its upcoming features “The Winter Queen,” starring Milla Jovovich, and Vincenzo Natali’s “Neuromancer,” based on William Gibson’s novel.
Collins and Ryan have abandoned earlier plans for a feature remake of “The Long Good Friday” with director Paul W.S. Anderson, which they were developing at HFI.
Collins and Ryan are two of the longest-serving veterans in the foreign sales biz, with careers dating back four decades. They joined forces in 2000, first at IAC Films and then at Sequence Films, which they sold in 2006 to Handmade, itself under new ownership.
Collins and Ryan became heads of Handmade Films Intl. Hedman started working with them in 2003 and became HFI’s sales director in 2009.
Their attempt to relaunch Handmade as a significant indie player was hampered by shareholder problems, which meant the company could never find a firm financial footing. Collins, Ryan and Hedman exited a year ago after Almorah Services took over Handmade in a rescue bid and downsized operations.