ITV’s upcoming legal conspiracy thriller Fearless has added Michael Gambon to star alongside Peaky Blinders’ Helen McCrory. Shooting on the six-part drama penned by Homeland writer and executive producer Patrick Harbinson, is just beginning. Mammoth Screen (Victoria, Poldark) is producing and has set further main cast including actor-comedian John Bishop, Emmy nominee Robin Weigert (Jessica Jones), Jonathan Forbes (Catastrophe), Wunmi Mosaku (Dancing on the Edge) and Jamie Bamber (Marcella). McCrory plays Emma Blunt, a solicitor known for defending lost causes. She’s investigating the killing of a schoolgirl in East Anglia and trying to free the man she thinks was wrongly convicted of murder. As she digs deeper into the case, Emma begins to sense powerful forces, in the police and the intelligence services at home and abroad, who want to stop her uncovering the truth. ITV Studios Global Entertainment has international sales.
Broken, the BBC One drama created by Jimmy McGovern, has set Anna Friel (Marcella), Paula Malcolmson (Ray Donovan), Aisling Loftus (War and Peace) and Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty) to join the previously announced Sean Bean. LA Productions is producing the six-part series. Bean plays Father Michael Kerrigan, a Catholic priest presiding over a Northern urban parish. Modern, maverick and reassuringly flawed, he must be confidant, counselor and confessor to a congregation struggling to reconcile its beliefs with the challenges of daily life in contemporary Britain. Also joining the cast are Mark Stanley (Dickensian) and Muna Otaru (The Keeping Room). Shooting starts this week in Liverpool. BBC Worldwide is international distributor.
The Pinewood Studios Group today announced the formal opening of an office in Beijing. Amanda Halliday, who becomes SVP of Pinewood China, will head up the new outpost. Pinewood has been working in China for a number of years and sees a permanent presence in the market as a key strategic element of its international strategy. Pinewood already provides consultancy services to a number of leading Chinese film companies and advises the Dalian Wanda Group on the design and construction of the massive Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis that’s due to open in 2017. Most recently, Pinewood’s post-production sound team has worked with Tencent Games and Disneynature/Shanghai Media Group. Pinewood’s other facilities include the flagship studio in the UK as well as Toronto Studios in Canada, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios and Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios. It’s also got Pinewood Atlanta Studios, which soon will become the largest studio facility and media hub outside of Los Angeles.
Toronto title Lady Macbeth has notched up key sales following its premiere at the festival’s Platform strand. The film, which was picked up by Roadside Attractions in North America last week, also has closed deals for UK (Altitude Films); France (KMBO); Australia/New Zealand (Sharmill Films); Latin America (California Filmes); Benelux (Cherry Pickers Filmdistributie BV); Greece (Strada Films); Scandinavia, Iceland and Baltics (Non Stop Entertainment); Portugal (Alambique); and airlines (Jaguar). Betta Pictures already picked up the title for Spain. The film marks the feature debut from London veteran theater director William Oldroyd and stars Florence Pugh (The Falling), Cosmo Jarvis (Spooks: The Greater Good), Paul Hilton (Wuthering Heights), Naomi Ackie (I Used to Be Famous) and Christopher Fairbank (Guardians of the Galaxy). Alice Birch wrote the script, which is set in 1865 rural England and follows a young woman who is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age and by his cold, unforgiving family. Protagonist Pictures are selling the title, which is produced by Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly for Sixty Six Pictures. It was produced through Creative England’s low budget film-making initiative iFeatures and supported by BBC Films, BFI and Oldgarth Media.
Suicide Squad‘s Jai Courtney and director Garth Davis have been set to receive the Foxtel Breakthrough Awards at the fifth Australians in Film Awards, which takes place on October 19 in LA. The event is aimed at supporting the org’s mission to usher Australian filmmakers into the international market and to provide educational and career development programs including the establishment of the new creative work sharing space, Charlie’s in Hollywood. Courtney began his career on Australian television and went on to features including Jack Reacher, A Good Day to Die Hard, Divergent, Unbroken, The Water Diviner and Terminator: Genisys. Next up are Man Down with Shia LaBeouf and The Exception, which premiered this month in Toronto. Davis’ feature helming debut, Lion, also premiered in Toronto to great response. He’s also an Emmy-nominated TV helmer for Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake. He’s currently in production on Mary Magdalene for The Weinstein Co and Universal Pictures International, starring Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix and Chiwetel Ejiofor.