Ricky Tomlinson Signs on for English Soccer Comedy Sequel

Ricky Tomlinson - P 2014
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A sequel to "Mike Bassett: England Manager" is in the works, more than 10 years after the original film debuted.

LONDON – U.K. actor Ricky Tomlinson is set to reprise his role as cult British comedy character Mike Bassett, more than 10 years after he first appeared on the big screen as the inept, foul-mouthed England national team soccer manager.

A sequel to Mike Bassett: England Manager is in the works, with director-producer Steve Barron and writers Rob Sprackling and John R. Smith returning.

The sequel, Mike Bassett: Interim Manager, details the story of Bassett being brought into the England camp as the number two coach to the tactically brilliant German coach Jorgen Mannstein, who has the England team playing like a dream. And Bassett mucks it all up.

Plans are to film the project this year as the World Cup soccer tournament is due to kick off in June.

Barron said: "Bassett was the last England manager to take the national team to Brazil. We reached the semis then; who knows what we could achieve this time. I’m very excited to be back with the team, including football legend Andy Ansah, who cut his teeth on the first film."

The movie's development at London-based Riley Productions has been funded again through the British Film Institute.

Newly launched Goldfinch Pictures, headed by Harrigan producer Kirsty Bell, has been tasked with raising $4 million (£2.5 million) from enterprise investment scheme investors to help fund the film.

The original Mike Bassett grossed $5.8 million (£3.5 million) at the box office when it was released in 2001, a respectable return for a small indie movie.

Goldfinch Pictures is a range of enterprise investment schemes (EIS) and seed enterprise investment schemes (SEIS) that aim to support British films by raising money through private investors. The startup was launched by entertainment accounting firm Nyman Libson Paul in January.