EXCLUSIVE: The venerable British film company is covering 20% of the budget for Wuthering Heights, Andrea Arnold’s new version starting shooting this autumn. Kaya Scodelario from UK teen series Skins is the only cast member attached so far. Co-financiers include Film4, UK Film Council and regional agency Screen Yorkshire. Hanway Films is selling this Ecosse Films project internationally.
Over the past few years, Goldcrest has invested in 18 Hollywood movies including Twilight, Knowing, Tropic Thunder for DreamWorks, Paramount and Summit. Now it’s changed tack and wants to invest in between 3 to 5 British films a year. It provides 20% of each project’s budget as an equity investment. Goldcrest has raised £19 million ($29 million) through the UK government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme. This EIS funding is designed to stimulate investments in risky enterprises such as movies. However, the amounts each EIS can raise are pretty small. Goldcrest’s investment will be capped at just £2 million per £8 million feature.
Adam Kulick, partner at Goldcrest Capital, tells me that although there’s no shortage of projects, getting any of them advanced to the stage where his company can invest is more difficult. Goldcrest’s equity is the last chunk in, with budgets mostly covered through pre-sales, soft money and broadcaster licences. “Projects are taking a lot longer to pull together,” he says.
Goldcrest’s sole British investment until now has been in Paramount’s teen comedy Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging. The company’s advisory board includes such industry heavyweights as producers Michael Kuhn (The Duchess), David Parfitt (Shakespeare in Love) and Graham Broadbent (In Bruges).