Swipe recasts WWII history in 'Jackboots'

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LONDON -- A stellar cast including Tom Wilkinson, Alan Cumming, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant and Timothy Spall has assembled to add their voices to what promises to be one the most unusual movies made on U.K. shores in recent years.

U.K. production, sales and distribution banner Swipe Films began recording the all-star cast's vocal contributions Thursday for "Jackboots On Whitehall," billed as a comedy spoof set during World War II.

The script imagines what would have happened had Germany invaded Britain but were then defeated by the Scots at the border with England.

Using specially designed GI Joe-type action figures, producer Frank Mannion ("Grand Theft Parsons") said the $2 million-budgeted movie is in the vein of "Team America" -- minus the strings.

"It's one of the funniest scripts I have read in a long time with a delightful twist at the end," Mannion said.

The movie has benefited from the help of top British casting director Debbie McWilliams -- she cast "Casino Royale" and the previous six James Bond outings -- who takes an executive producer credit on "Jackboots."

The voice cast also includes Sanjeev Bhaskar, Richard O'Brien, Neil Newbon, Pam Ferris, Tobias Menzies and Hugh Fraser, Mannion said.

"Jackboots" marks the directorial debut of Edward McHenry, who also co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Rory. The script won the inaugural Swipe Films Screenplay Scholarship, a fund set up by Swipe to encourage students to write scripts in their summer holidays.

Swipe Films Sales is handling worldwide distribution for the title, which is financed through private sources and Final Cut Post, Mannion said in an interview.

"It is a tribute to the script's originality and to Edward's directorial vision that we have assembled such a starry British cast lending us their extraordinary vocal and comedic talents," Mannion said.

Swipe Films Distribution currently has Star Trek fans documentary "Earthlings" in release and is prepping the rollout of Diane Kruger starrer "Frankie." Swipe production also is in post-production on supernatural thriller "Reverb," starring Leo Gregory and Eva Birthistle.
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