Dustin Hoffman knocks on Ealing's door

Brought Irwin Shaw's 'Nightwork' to the studio

CANNES -- The roster of talent lining up to make movies with Ealing Studios -- the reborn British production, finance, sales and studio facility operator -- includes Peter Cattaneo, Dustin Hoffman and writers Richard Warlow and Will Davis.

Ealing Studios chief Barnaby Thompson said Hoffman brought Irwin Shaw's novel "Nightwork" to Ealing with a view to the U.K. banner putting it together. Will Davies, one of the scribes behind "How to Train Your Dragon," has been hired to pen a script based on Shaw's tale of a hotel security guard who discovers a dead woman with $100,000 lying around her room. Hoffman is attached to star.

Ealing also has brought in Richard Warlow to pen a $30 million art world thriller named "All That Glitters," which it hopes to have before cameras in 2011.

Thompson said the studio's plan for production is two-pronged: Bigger budget international commercial projects and smaller but glossy British tales with cross-border potential.

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Cattaneo is on board to direct "What the Puck," based on the true story of Geoff Deane, who discovers his son's dyspraxia is helped by playing ice hockey. His team ends up being asked to compete at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Canada. Deane is writing the script.

Ealing also has sealed a deal with the British chart-topping group of Cornish locals "Fisherman's Friends," to turn their lobsters-to-singing riches story into a movie. Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft, the team behind John Landis' "Burke and Hare," are scribbling.

Other highlights on the upcoming slate include the Emma Thompson-penned "Effie," brought to Ealing by producer Gail Egan, and "St. Trinians 3," the third installment in the British school comedy. It also has snapped up feature rights to ITV-owned "Doctor in the House," starring Dirk Bogarde in the 1954 movie.

Ealing Studios International, the finance and sales arm tasked with putting together the tapestry of financing for the titles, aims to strike deals with U.S. partners on a case-by-case basis.