'Damned' if they do: BBC Films, Left Bank

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BBC Films is teaming with Andy Harries' startup production banner Left Bank Pictures on the Peter Morgan-penned "The Damned United," which is being repped at the American Film Market by Ealing Studios International.

The movie reunites the producing team behind "The Queen," with Morgan and Harries back on a project along with producer Christine Langan, who is now at BBC Films, and actor Michael Sheen.

Stephen Frears, who helmed "Queen," will not be directing this project. Instead, Harries and company have hired Emmy winner Tom Hooper ("Longford") to sit in the director's chair.

"Damned" centers on controversial but successful soccer manager Brian Clough in 1970s England. Morgan adapted from David Peace's novel.

Production is scheduled to start in the spring on the $10 million-budgeted picture.

"Brian Clough was an iconic figure and, as with Ealing, is a legend in contemporary popular British culture," Harries said. "This story has a message for us all."

Ealing Studios International will sell the rights in all territories apart from the U.K., where the BBC is handling theatrical distribution sales while maintaining television rights to the project.

"We are delighted to be working with Andy Harries' Left Bank Pictures, Peter Morgan and such a talented team," Ealing Studios chief James Spring said.
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