Real Hollywood opens in Belfast

Property entrepreneur launches prod'n shingle

CANNES -- Everyone knows investing in moviemaking is more dangerous even than real estate, but U.K. property entrepreneur Robert Whitton is up for a gamble.

Whitton has teamed with producer Jo Gilbert ("Closing The Ring") to launch banner the Real Holywood Production with some 20 million pounds ($39 million) behind it, based in Hollywood, Belfast in Northern Ireland.

The first production will be Gerry Lively's "Yankee King," starring Bill Campbell, Claire Forlani, Kelly Brook and Rosemary Harris.

The shingle's debut slate includes the directorial debut of British thesp Simon Callow, with a big-screen version of stage play "That Good Night." Callow also is lined up to direct "In the Wings," with Derek Jacobi on the roster to star.

Other projects are Tom McGuire's directorial debut "Hot Nights," with Stephen Rea attached; "The Chaps," a screenplay from B.J. Hogg and Hal Fowler, to be directed by Hogg; and "Poles Apart," an original screenplay set in the world of burlesque, developed and written by Irish playwrights Alan McKee and Conor Grimes.

The company aims to produce three movies a year alongside TV dramas and docs.