Douglas McGrath is directing and Killer Films‘ Christine Vachon is producing Brooklyn Bridge, a period pic about the construction of the famous span that links Brooklyn to Manhattan. Daniel Radcliffe is attached to play Washington Roebling, the civil engineer son of the bridge’s original architect, John A. Roebling. When the younger Roebling is left to oversee the project, his obsession threatens his health and his family until he discovers he has an improbable ally in his charming and shrewd wife Emily. McGrath (Emma, Bullets Over Broadway) wrote the screenplay. London- and New York-based Goldcrest Films will finance, distribute and sell all international rights to the movie, kicking off sales at the European Film Market in Berlin next month. Rose Ganguzza is also producing and Goldcrest’s Nick Quested and Pascal Degove along with Jill Samuels are executive producers. Shooting is planned for August 2014.
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 …
EXCLUSIVE: The international sales arm of the London-based financier is handling worldwide rights apart from US, which it’s sharing with executive producer Anant Singh. The First Grader has been tipped for Venice, and has already been accepted for the London Film Festival in November. Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean) stars in this first feature from former BBC Films boss David M. Thompson. The director is Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl). BBC Films and UK Film Council are also on board.
The film tells the true story of an 84-year-old village elder who used a Kenyan government initiative to introduce free primary school to get the education he always wanted. He took on the government when it tried to stop him attending lessons.
Penny Wolf, head of Goldcrest Films International, tells me: “I loved Ann Peacock’s script when I first read it. It’s such a heartbreaking story.”
Goldcrest hopes to start selling in earnest around the Toronto International Film Festival.