Cannes: Film4, Focus Features Team for Andrea Arnold's 'Mag Crew'

Andrea Arnold
Andrea Arnold
 Getty Images

LONDON – Projects with a U.S. flavor from Andrea Arnold, Paddy Considine and the Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender adaptation of Macbeth all figure prominently on Film4's development slate.

The U.K. broadcaster Channel 4's standalone filmmaking arm is developing U.S.-set drama Mag Crew, inspired by teenage magazine sales crews, for which Arnold is writing a script to direct with Focus Features.

Considine has adapted and will direct The Years of the Locust from Jon Hotten’s book The Years of the Locust: A True Story of Murder, Money and Mayhem in the Last Age of Boxing, a riotous true-crime story about boxing, murder and money in the U.S. in the 1990s.

Portman and Fassbender are lined up to star in Macbeth, with Oscar winning U.K. producer Iain Canning (The King's Speech) producing.

Film4, which hosted is now traditional pre-Cannes Film Festival evening bash Thursday evening allowing the British industry's great and the good to rub shoulders and exchange producing war stories, detailed its current slate of production and development.

Film4 chief Tessa Ross said the standalone unit has 17 in or "readying for production" and another eleven pictures "awaiting release."

The slate, Ross noted, is a product of the unit's ambitious to grow both established and new talent in movies.

Also on the slate is a documentary from the unit's low budget digital division Film4.0 featuring singer songwriter Nick Cave, named 20,000 Days On Earth.

Film4's showreel gave the evening's guests a look at footage from a host of anticipated productions including Kevin Macdonald's How I Live Now, starring Saoirse Ronan, the Scarlett Johansson starrer Under the Skin directed by Jonathan Glazer and David Mackenzie's Starred Up, with Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend.

Macdonald’s submarine thriller Black Sea, written by Denis Kelly, with Jude Law in talks to star as a submarine captain in search of a sunken vessel reputed to be loaded with gold is also being developed while Mike Leigh’s Turner is currently shooting.

A trio of Film4 backed movies will unspool during this year's Cannes Film Festival across various sections.

Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, Paul Wright’s For Those In Peril and the Channel 4-backed A Story of Children and Film by Mark Cousins will all travel to the French riviera.

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